Lynne Morgan is launching Stand up to Cancer in Scotland
Courageous bride Lynne Morgan went from the high of a perfect wedding day to facing cancer.
She was only hours away from marrying in an Elvis themed ceremony at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas when she picked up a voicemail on her mobile from her doctor in Scotland asking her to attend an urgent hospital appointment. Just days later after flying home, Lynne had her fears confirmed. The newlyweds were forced to put their dreams on hold while with the support of her husband Sam, Lynne - who had first been diagnosed with the disease aged 35 - tackled cancer for the second time.
Now Lynne of Blairgowrie, Perthshire has been chosen in Scotland to launch Stand Up To Cancer, a joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4. She is calling on Scots to stand united against the disease by raising money to accelerate life-saving research. She is sharing her remarkable story to help inspire people of all ages and abilities to Stand Up To Cancer by getting sponsored to stand up all day, or for as long as they can, on Friday 15 October.
Lynne, now 45, said: “Love pulled me through the toughest of times.
“Even though I knew in my heart that cancer was back, the day we got married was still absolutely brilliant. My husband loves motorbikes so we arrived at the Little White Chapel on a Harley Davidson and were married by an Elvis impersonator. It was magical. I felt so proud to marry this giant of a man who had been a rock for me. Not everyone has the chance to meet the love of their life and I’m fortunate to have found mine.
“We’re there for each other. I want to show that you can live well with cancer. It’s thanks to research and advances in treatment that I’m still standing. I feel pretty good. I hope Scots will get on their feet and stand up everyone affected by this devastating disease.”
And Lynne who married in America on April 4 2017 understands all too clearly the need to speed up progress in the fight against the disease. She was a single mum to Ruby Cunningham, then aged five, when diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2011.
Lynne said: “When I was diagnosed with cancer I thought I was going to die.
“And even if I didn’t die, I would go bald. I thought cancer meant I now had no chance of meeting someone new to share my life with. It was a frightening time.”
Lynne had surgery at Ninewells hospital, Dundee to remove the cancer and breast reconstruction then six sessions of chemotherapy over five months followed by 15 radiotherapy sessions. After slowly recovering, she met her husband Sam, 39, for the first time when they both attended a Relay for Life fundraising event for Cancer Research in a muddy field in Blairgowrie. She recalls the evening they met vividly. Former Black Watch soldier Sam had lost his right leg after a bomb blast in Afghanistan when he was seriously injured after the armoured vehicle he was driving hit an explosive device in May 2009. The couple got talking after Lynne sat down beside him to change in to boots.
Lynne said: “Sam got my attention from the word go.
“It was one of those moments. I think we were just meant to meet that night. We’ve both seen big challenges in life. Sam coped with so much in Afghanistan and afterwards had much to adjust to coming home too. I hope I’ve done everything I can to support him. And Sam has been there for me to lean on in those days when cancer feels overwhelming.”
After returning from their wedding day in Las Vegas, doctors at Ninewells hospital explained tests showed the cancer had spread to Lynne’s lungs and bones.
Lynne started treatment again and currently get the chemotherapy drug Eribulin every three weeks. The drug blocks the growth of cancer by stopping cancer cells from separating into two cells. Lynne, who works in the office of St Stephen’s RC Primary school and Newhill primary school, Blairgowrie is also supported by her daughter Ruby who is now 15.
Lynne said: “My daughter was too young to know what cancer meant the first time around.
“But the second time I was diagnosed, she understood and has been amazing. She wrote an essay for school on what it’s been like growing up with a mum who has cancer and her words were insightful. They made me cry but I’m proud of her. I’m touched that she’s joining us to Stand Up to Cancer this autumn.”
In Scotland, around 32,400 people are diagnosed with cancer every year.* Stand Up To Cancer helps to take breakthroughs from the lab and transform them into cutting-edge treatments that could help save lives.
This October, Scots can choose how and where to make their stand to raise vital funds, whether it’s on one leg, two legs, on their head, with a walking stick or by doing a wheelie every half an hour if they use a wheelchair. A free fundraising kit is available for inspiration and support.
People who can’t take part on October 15 can chose another date or fundraise in their own way. People can also show their support for the campaign, and raise money in style, with a striking range of clothing and accessories for men and women available online.
Stand Up To Cancer, now in its ninth year in the UK, has raised more than £84 million, funding 59 clinical trials and projects involving more than 19,000 cancer patients across the country.
These include the development of new treatments that use viruses to fight cancer, clinical trials testing potentially more effective ways to deliver radiotherapy and improved surgical techniques for bowel cancer.
Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “We are grateful to Lynne for helping us to continue our mission. We know one in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime,** but all of us can play a part to help beat it. That’s why we’re asking everyone to Stand Up To Cancer, by standing up on Friday October 15. It really is as simple as that.
“The challenge itself might be harder than it sounds, but it’s not difficult to imagine the difference it could make. The money raised will go directly to our life-saving research, helping our scientists face their own feat of endurance to constantly develop tests and treatments for those who need them most. If we all stand together, we can save lives.” Stand Up To Cancer’s ambition is to see three in four people in the UK survive their cancer by 2034. The Stand Up To Cancer campaign will continue throughout September and October and culminate in an awe-inspiring night of TV on Channel 4.
Sign up and get a free fundraising kit online.