The Man Who Intends To Cure Cancer
Oh goodness, hello September! I took all of August off, it wasn’t planned, we bought something amazing and we had such adventures that everything else sort of slid. I walked away from my desk, ignored my inbox and sank into my family with a happy sigh. I have SO much to write about and to catch up on, I have made a very LONG list. It’s quite an exciting list; I want to tell you about our sailing adventures and our trip to the Making of Harry Potter with Citroen, I have some fabulous cookery books to tickle your taste buds and tantalise your tummies, I have crafts for the last days of summer and the first ones of autumn but right there at the top of my list is Maurice Saatchi.
I need to tell you about Maurice and his heart breaking, heart warming love story. (If you’re sitting there frowning thinking ‘heart warming? Isn’t he the guy who was pictured with his hands encircling Nigella’s throat a few weeks ago?’ no, it’s not, it’s his brother) This was the one email in my inbox I didn’t star and save for later! On Monday I and a group of other bloggers will be casually strolling through the doors of the Houses of Parliament, trying to look as if this is the sort of thing we do every day, before taking our seats in one of the committee rooms to listen to Lord Saatchi talk about his Medical Innovation Bill.
Words like that usually have a soporific effect on me, it sounds too scientific for my creative, slightly woolly, brain but this time it has made me sit up and take notice. In 2011 Maurice’s beloved wife, Josephine Hart, died from ovarian cancer and, moved by grief and shocked at the lack of progress which appeared to have been made in the treatment and curing of gynecological cancers he decided to act.
His research showed that one of the main things stopping doctors from doing everything they possibly can for a patient, from innovating and from trying new approaches and techniques, is the fear of litigation. Yes, those lawyers who promise to help you if your doctor ‘has let you down’ while rubbing their hands together and counting up the pennies. Of course it’s important to protect patients from malpractice but it’s also important to innovate, move forward and to find the cures and treatments which can stop them suffering and from dying!
Maurice Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill is designed to encourage innovation while still protecting patients and will be introduced to the Commons on Wednesday by MP Michael Ellis. On Monday Lord Saatchi, accompanied by Michael Ellis, wants to convince us that the Bill will help save lives and, if he manages to do that, he wants us to help spread the word amongst our readers (that’s you ) and garner public support for something which, if passed, could make such a difference to so many of us. All of us will, tragically, at some point in our lives be affected by cancer or other life limiting diseases – I, for one, would like to know that everything possible was being done to help me or my loved ones and will be listening very carefully to what Lord Saatchi has to say.
I’ll report back here next week with more information and, if he convinces me, I hope you’ll help me spread the word!
I’ll be joined in the Houses of Parliament by, Rosie Scribble, Sandy Calico, Victoria Wallop (for Tots100), Penny Alexander, Laura Seaton, Alice Hassall, Emma Day, Barbara Stensland, Vicky Welton, Mary Key, Jade Lewenden, Gemma Mills, Eva Keogan, Vanessa, Louise Lloyd, Hannah Clements, Maja Pawinska Sims Sharon Donnelly and I am crossing absolutely everything that Tracey Cheetham will be there (my Mozambique buddy!)
We’ve all been brought together by Liz Scarff who, as many of you know, was the driving force behind Save the Children’s digital campaign when I went to Mozambique and then to New York, and who instigated the amazing Marie Curie Stories which I was involved with earlier this year. I’m lucky enough to count this phenomenal force for good as one of my truest friends and I’m delighted to be working with her again.
You can follow developments on Twitter @SaatchiBill and #SaatchiBill
I lost two gorgeous godparents within one year to cancer, I have friends who are battling MS and cancer now – we all have a story to tell and, as this Bill begins its journey, I would love to share some of yours. Do get in touch if you want to be involved with this campaign or if you would like to share your story here to encourage others to support the Bill. Leave a comment below or email me chris at thinlyspread dot co dot uk Thank you xxx