Stump to go purple as Abi pays tribute to late mum

Abi pictured with her late mum Anne, brother Alex, and nephew Oakley.
Abi pictured with her late mum Anne, brother Alex, and nephew Oakley.

A Boston-born woman is working to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer after losing her mum to the disease last month.

Abi Tilley, 22, says she lost ‘her best friend’ when her mum, Anne Tilley, died in October, aged 56, after a six-week battle with pancreatic cancer.

Now, the ex-Boston High School pupil says she wants to do all she can to raise awareness of the disease – including running the London Marathon for Pancreatic Cancer UK next year.

“GPs call it the silent killer,” Abi said of pancreatic cancer. “This is because the symptoms are often just put down to back ache or arthritis and, in most cases, it’s often too late once diagnosed.

“Most cases survive around three to six months after diagnosis but for my mum it was sadly just one month.”

In support of her efforts to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, The Stump has agreed to light up the church purple tomorrow evening.

This is to recognise that Thursday is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and World Prematurity Day – both of which use purple to symbolise their work.

Abi said: “Awareness is all that is needed. With more awareness, more people will have the chance of survival and the chance to fight, something I know my mum would have done if she had the chance.

“Personally, it’s all about time. I know it’s something that we can’t cure but, with more people aware, GPs and doctors are more likely to reach a diagnosis before it’s too late, even if it means the chance for a treatment which will only prolong life, pain free, anything is better than nothing.

“Even though the last six weeks we had were hard, emotional and scary, we had the chance to be together and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.”

Abi has been offered a place to run in the London Marathon for Pancreatic Cancer UK next year.

“My mum was everything to me and it’s so hard and lonely living a life without her,” she said. “I’m running in memory of her and for all the other purple angels who have sadly lost their lives and for the families they left behind.”

Abi, who moved from Boston to Sleaford in July, but still works in the town with Longhurst Group, will need to raise £2,500 to take on the run.

Donations so far total more than £1,500.

You can support her by visiting her Virgin Moneygiving page at http://tinyurl.com/znzcwd7.

Abi is also collecting prizes for a charity raffle. To donate, email her at abi_0505@hotmail.co.uk.