'I've lost too many people to cancer'
Misbah Alvi, one of WCRF's supporters, shares what our charity means to her
I'm Misbah Alvi, and I donate to World Cancer Research Fund.
It’s pretty important we all look after ourselves, but not everyone has the same chance. WCRF is about sharing, working and finding solutions to cancer for everyone – it’s helping everyone.
Within five months he had left us
I have lost too many people close to me to cancer. I’ve lost six extended family members because of it. I also lost a good friend to bladder cancer – she was in her late 30s at the time. Then a family member was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was very fit and healthy, didn’t smoke – a busy healthcare professional and father. Within five months he had left us. It hit me really hard – we were all still in shock that he was even ill in the first place.
Then I discovered a growth in my mouth, and I thought ‘Oh no, not me too’. Everybody has those ‘what if?’ moments. In my case, it wasn’t cancer, but it’s all definitely made me very cancer aware. When you see somebody you care about disintegrate in front of you, you want to do whatever it takes to look after yourself. I’ve spent way too much time in hospitals over the last few years – I don't want to be in there myself.
For me now, in my 40s, everything is about prevention and staying healthy. I’m the fittest and healthiest I’ve ever been. I don't drink, I don't smoke and I exercise four or five times a week. WCRF’s Cancer Prevention Recommendations are a great place to start.
Giving to prevention
I also decided to start giving regularly to support WCRF’s cancer prevention work. I like getting WCRF’s e-newsletters. It’s a really colourful, easy read, and I’m always interested to see what WCRF has to tell me that’s new.
And I like the Healthy You magazine that regular WCRF supporters receive. There’s always stuff in it about what you can do to stay healthy – information about reducing your cancer risk and how you can look after yourself. It has healthy recipes plus some great free gifts – I sent off for a jar gripper – I thought that would be useful to my mum, because she’s got arthritis and she can’t open things easily – and for myself I ordered a scraper to get every last bit out of the bottom of jars.
I also like the fact that, in the information it sends me, WCRF tells me a lot about what’s happening with my money – like all the research projects it is funding. You see where your money’s going. It makes me want to help more – I also buy my Christmas cards from WCRF. I like knowing my money is going toward cancer prevention – it’s really important work.
Finding solutions to cancer
But another main reason why I support WCRF is that its work is worldwide, and has a global reach. WCRF is a charity that’s helping everyone, not just a few. It’s pretty important we all look after ourselves, but not everyone has the same chance. WCRF is about sharing, working and finding solutions to cancer for everyone – it’s helping everyone.