Saddleworth cancer campaigner put forward for special award

AN inspirational mum-of-two from Saddleworth has been nominated for a special award for her dedication to raising awareness of the cancer she is living with.

Jo Taylor has been put forward by her colleagues at Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance for the Dianne Oxberry Special Impact Award.

Jo, from Diggle, has been shortlisted for the accolade, which is named after the former BBC weather presenter who died from ovarian cancer in 2019.

It’s part of the This Is Manchester Awards, taking place at Emirates Old Trafford on November 9, which champion and recognise individuals and organisations rooted within Manchester.

For Jo, who is living with metastatic breast cancer, her nomination marks her tireless work to improve the lives of patients diagnosed with breast cancer at a local, national and international level.

Jo has also championed the health and wellbeing of patients and runs retreats and Nordic walking groups which support patients affected by breast cancer across Greater Manchester.

In 2007, Jo was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38 while on maternity leave with her second child.

During this time, she discovered a lack of information available for patients to support their decision making for surgery and other treatments.

This led her to set up After Breast Cancer (ABC) Diagnosis – a website with a multimedia library of information including blogs, signposting, newsletters, links, educational material and more for patients after they have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

In 2014, Jo was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer – also known as secondary breast cancer – which cannot be cured.

She has undergone around 14 surgeries and had over 150 individual treatments during that time, to prolong her survival.

Jo went on to found the charity METUPUK, the only one in the UK focused on advocating and supporting patients with a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer.

To raise further awareness of the need for better treatment and more national targets to drive change, Jo led the charity’s team to work with the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to host the first conference focused specifically on metastatic breast cancer in June this year.

Jo has been an active patient representative at the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance since 2015.

She has developed two infographics to clearly explain signs and symptoms of metastatic breast cancer, which are given to every patient diagnosed with primary breast cancer in Greater Manchester and have been translated into multiple languages

Jo has also contributed to numerous education and awareness events.

Claire O’Rourke, Managing Director of Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, said: “We are all inspired by the relentless work Jo does to support women with metastatic cancer, as well as all her amazing work to ensure women diagnosed with primary cancer are aware of the signs and symptoms of metastatic breast cancer.

“I have no doubt she has saved the lives of many women with breast cancer as a result. I am proud to support Jo in her work and we fully support all her programmes of work, providing Jo with greater leverage with the NHS and political systems in GM.”

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