Cancer Immunology researcher Dr Edd James with cancer survivor Paul Blacketer
To mark the official opening of Cancer Research UK’s ‘Pledge Pathway To Progress’ show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival yesterday, the charity has created a reversible poem, inspired by the impact gifts in wills have on its work to beat cancer.

Reflecting the inspiration behind the show garden, designed by RHS gold medal winner Tom Simpson, the poem shines a light on the of the importance of supporters’ pledging a gift in their will to accelerating Cancer Research UK’s progress

Written by spoken word poet Matt Abbot the piece is read conventionally and in reverse to provide two contrasting perspectives.

CRUK Reversible Poem

Read from top to bottom, the poem looks through the eyes of someone facing a cancer diagnosis but read from bottom to top it puts the reader in the shoes of a cancer researcher excited at the prospect of progress. Regardless of their opposing personal experiences, both make their pledge to beat cancer.

The dual perspectives of the poem are a key theme that can be seen in the garden. Carved timber stakes are dotted amongst the planting scheme, containing the names of a selection of supporters who have pledged a gift in their will to CRUK and pivotal moments in time when significant progress was made through research.

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive at Cancer Research UK said:

“The day-to-day lives of our supporters and researchers may seem poles apart, but what unites them is the desire to beat cancer. Over a third of our research is funded by gifts left to us in our supporters’ wills, and this work has saved millions of lives.  But we still have more to do and want to accelerate progress so that three in four people survive their cancer for at least 10 years by 2034. We hope our garden at Hampton Court Garden Festival will inspire supporters to leave a gift in their Will to help us beat cancer for future generations.”

Poet Matt Abbott said:

“All of my poems carry personal significance, but this one especially, having seen my own mum survive cancer thanks to improved treatments. It allowed me to put myself in her shoes during the diagnosis, as well as others like her. That experience gave me a much a greater appreciation of those who’ve sought to beat cancer for my generation, and those to come, by leaving a gift in their will.”

Visit Cancer Research UK’s ‘Pledge Pathway To Progress’ show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival, open until 7th July 2019.

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