Farlington School wears purple for World Pancreatic Cancer Day

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19 November 2020

On Thursday, 19 November 2020, the staff at Farlington School wore purple to raise awareness of World Pancreatic Cancer Day, part of November’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Dressed in purple, complete with purple face masks handmade by Year 11 student Emily Higgs, staff gathered in the school’s cobbled courtyard in support of this cause that is close to the hearts of the Farlington Community.

Over 9,000 people die of pancreatic cancer every year in the UK, often within weeks of diagnosis, and yet awareness of the disease is shockingly low: over 50% of the country know ‘almost nothing’ about it, with 76% unable to name a single symptom.

Farlington’s Head of Textile Design, Sue Cooper, found out just how devastating pancreatic cancer can be when her brother, Adrian Bunting, very sadly passed away from the disease in 2013, just weeks after being diagnosed. ‘Adrian came to visit at Easter looking very thin and in a lot of pain,’ remembers Sue. ‘After several trips to his GP, he was taken to A&E, where the cancer was diagnosed. He died six weeks later, aged 47.’

A talented and passionate playwright and construction manager, Adrian had always dreamt of building an open-air theatre in his hometown of Brighton. During his final weeks, he drew up plans for the Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT), which was to become his legacy. With the help of five of Adrian’s friends, who had vowed to continue his work after he passed, BOAT opened in May 2015. Since opening, the theatre has gone from strength to strength, with over 100,000 visitors to date. ‘BOAT is a truly special place, and now a well-established part of Brighton and Hove’s cultural landscape,’ says Sue. ‘Please do visit one day if you can, it really is quite unique!’

Whilst the statistics around pancreatic cancer paint a bleak picture, with early diagnosis survival is possible. To learn more about the symptoms, please visit www.pancreaticcanceraction.org or www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk.

To find out more about BOAT, please visit www.brightonopenairtheatre.co.uk.