When I was asked what charity I wanted to donate to for Jellybean 12 Days of Giving, there was one that immediately came to mind: Cancer Research UK.

Cancer is unfortunately something that affects all of us. Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer*, and 1 in 2 people will get cancer at some point in their lives**. We all know someone whose life has been altered by seeing someone battle cancer or losing someone to cancer. Cancer Research UK has been helping prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer for over 40 years, and in that time a lot of progress has been made on research – the survival rate has actually doubled! They also work on policy to help inform government decision when it comes to cancer and its research.

I come from a large Greek Cypriot / Italian family. Our Mediterranean roots on both sides means that family is everything to us and each birthday is a large family gathering (although not this year unfortunately due to Covid). At a young age, I lost my Nanna on my Mum’s side to breast cancer, and shortly after, my Nonno (Grandad) on my dad’s side to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Seeing my parents lose their parents and losing my grandparents continues to affect me and my family to this day and is something I still struggle to talk about. Recently, my Papou (Grandad) on my Mum’s side was diagnosed with colon cancer, bringing up a lot of those feelings again. Cancer has taken members of our family far before their time, so that’s why Cancer Research UK is a charity that is close to my heart.

At Christmas, when family coming together is even more important, it’s great to have the opportunity to give to a charity that affects so many families.

* www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics-for-the-uk

** www.macmillan.org.uk/_images/cancer-statistics-factsheet_tcm9-260514.pdf