Cancer Card can help you give staff the support they need - Jen Hardy

Being diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2017 was a devastating blow for me and my family. Back then, I did not even think I would still be alive in 2023, never mind being honoured with an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours List.

It is an incredible honour and one which I never expected. Campaigning for access to cancer drugs, and setting up a charity to help signpost support, was rooted in a desire to improve the lives of those affected by cancer, rather than for recognition.

Perjeta, which can extend life projections for cancer patients, was available for people like me in other parts of the UK, but sadly not in Scotland. Working with other cancer patients and charity Breast Cancer Now, we managed to get Perjeta approved. Regrettably, this came too late for me, but I am strengthened everyday by the knowledge that thousands of families across Scotland can benefit.

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When I set up Cancer Card in 2021, I did so because I recognised the urgent need for better access to cancer support. The handful of leaflets I received were just the tip of the iceberg and it was up to me to find the much needed support from an array of very helpful, but also hugely fragmented, range of options.

Jen Hardy MBE is founder of Cancer CardJen Hardy MBE is founder of Cancer Card
Jen Hardy MBE is founder of Cancer Card

I knew there could be a better way to connect people with the support they desperately needed. And there is. Cancer Card is a free to use online hub which allows you to search for support from over 300 organisations in Scotland and Northern Ireland by location, type of cancer and type of support needed. But it isn’t just for people with cancer. The online hub can signpost support partners, families and employers too. This powerful search function is what sets Cancer Card apart from other services.

From UK wide support lines staffed with specialist nurses, to the local charity operating in your town which connects cancer patients with transport to hospital appointments, Cancer Card means that for the first time, you can see all of this support in one place.

For employers, this can be an incredibly useful source of information. By providing employers with a better understanding of what their employees are going through and the available help, often difficult conversations can be made more manageable.

I am so proud of the feedback I have had from fellow cancer patients. With this support hub they do not need to trawl through a myriad of information. They say that this gives them more time to focus on their treatment and spending time with their loved ones, something that can be so precious for those with the most shattering of prognoses.

While the primary motivation behind Cancer Card was to improve the lives of those affected by cancer, charities have also recognised the positive impact it has had. They have reported an increase in individuals reaching out to them for support through our support hub.

Today, I invite you to visit our Cancer Card website and discover the wealth of resources available to you and your loved ones. Whether you are a cancer patient, partner, family member, or employer, our powerful search function will connect you with the support you need during this challenging journey.

I have had praise from the First Minister, support from politicians, and now even an honour from the King. But what truly keeps me going through the challenging days of living with cancer is the knowledge that Cancer Card, alongside drugs like Perjeta, are making a difference in people’s lives during their most difficult times.

Jen Hardy MBE is founder of Cancer Card –

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