Star-studded cast join forces to show cancer it’s payback time

A stellar line up of actors including Liam Neeson, Michelle Dockery, Jodie Comer, Lesley Manville, and O-T Fagbenle have joined forces with cancer patients and survivors to feature in a powerful film by Ridley Scott Associates.

Marking the return of Stand Up To Cancer, a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, the film shows the group standing poised and ready to show cancer it’s payback time.

In the moving film, each participant takes their chance to stand defiantly, empowered and ready to rise up together against cancer. Coming together to raise awareness of Stand Up To Cancer’s life-saving work, several of the stars in the film have been personally affected by the disease.

Liam Neeson said: “Everyone knows someone who’s experienced cancer – either a friend or a family member. I myself have had four relatives die from this horrible disease. You never want to see anyone go through it, but the reality is that 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime. By acting now, we’ve got a far better chance of beating this disease in the future. That’s why we’ve got to keep raising money to support the research that will save lives.”

Michelle Dockery said: “I’m proud to be supporting Stand Up To Cancer. It’s a campaign I’m passionate about. Stand Up To Cancer is funding research in treatments today that will save lives. That’s what really matters. We can act now to make a difference, so I’d encourage everyone to get involved and do what they can.”

Deborah James has stage 4 bowel cancer, she is a BBC presenter of the podcast You, Me and the Big C and is known on social media as ‘Bowel Babe’. Deborah said: “Cancer turned my world upside down. As an outgoing mum with two young kids and a lovely husband, cancer was the last thing on my mind, but cancer doesn’t discriminate.

“Since my diagnosis, I met Rachael and Lauren and together we created our podcast ‘You, Me and the Big C’ to push the conversation about cancer, to break down taboos and change the stereotype of what it means to have cancer. We want to ensure people don’t run away and hide from the fear of cancer, but instead come together and address it head-on. Rachael’s death from breast cancer two weeks ago has left Lauren and me heartbroken. She was only 40. But it only motivates me more to continue to talk and Stand Up To Cancer. This film really captures how I feel. I hope people will feel inspired to unite and raise lots of money. 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with this horrible disease, but by joining forces and raising vital funds now, we can make sure fewer people die from cancer and more people can focus on living. F**k you cancer, we’re coming to get you!”

A Ridley Scott Associate and the film’s creator and director, Melissa Bolton-Klinger, who survived Stage 3 head and neck cancer, said: “Cancer has taken our sisters, brothers, fathers and mothers. It tried to take me. Because of cancer, I can’t smell or taste. But it never took my spirit. That’s why I wanted to create this film in support of Stand Up To Cancer, to show this disease we’re coming for it and we will not back down. And what a pleasure it was to join together against cancer with such an inspiring group of people. Through research, we will beat cancer, but we need to act now. So stand up with me and help make a real difference in saving lives.”

Andrew Lomas, 34, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in January 2018, said: “I’ve become really passionate about making sure that other people are aware of cancer, especially young men like myself. Being able to step up and have a platform to do that is something really special.”

Jack Morgan, 21, who was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in October 2017, said: “Cancer doesn’t discriminate, whether you’re white, black, Jewish, Muslim, Christian. This campaign puts the middle finger up and just says we’re all here together, to beat this.”

Stand Up To Cancer funds ground-breaking research that will save lives. To date, the campaign has raised more than £38 million, funding 35 trials and projects involving more than 8000 cancer patients and supporting one international Dream Team. For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit Standuptocancer.org.uk.

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