ON Tuesday (Nov 13) Llanelli Online visited the St Elli Shopping Centre in Llanelli Town to meet the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

They were in the town to with a new ‘Face Your Fear’ Virtual Reality Campaign as part of the the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation to mark Lung Cancer Awareness month.

They will be at the St Elli Shopping Centre until Saturday. There is a  specially-created virtual reality booth to help people see for themselves how the outcomes of lung cancer can be if they go to see their doctor early – rather than too late.

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is the only U.K. charity dedicated to the disease.

Lorraine Dallas, Tracy Golesworthy and Nicola Harrison are the representatives and Lorraine spoke to  Llanelli Online.

She explained the concept of the ‘Face Your Fear’ Virtual Reality initiative, and allowed us to experience and witness first hand what it was all about.

The virtual reality experience tells the story of Frank. He is displaying several potential symptoms of lung cancer but is fearful of going to the doctor, despite encouragement from his daughter. He is scared of what they might tell him.

Visitors to the VR experience will be immersed in Frank’s world, where they will see, hear and feel like they can almost touch the characters. They will literally be face to face with Frank, watching as he faces his fear of lung cancer.

About Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is the only UK charity dedicated solely to the disease: Lung cancer is the type of cancer that kills more people in the UK than any other.

At around 36,000 lives per year, it claims more than breast, bowel and pancreatic cancer combined (that figure is around 31,500) It kills more women than any other cancer – 44 women per day.

The rates of diagnosis for men is gently falling, while for women it continues to rise – thought to be linked to the ‘long tail’ of more women taking up smoking during after the Second World War.

While smoking tobacco products remains the single largest cause of the disease, around 28% of cases of lung cancer are NOT linked to smoking. If the disease is diagnosed at an early enough stage (when still within one lung) it can be cured by surgery or, in some cases, radiotherapy.

More advanced cases can be treated, and the advent of new therapies such as targeted therapies or immunotherapies are extending lives, adding much more quality time for people to share with family and loved ones. Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation was formed in Liverpool in 1990, initially as the Lung Cancer Fund, by leading chest surgeon Professor Ray Donnelly.

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It was later re-named in honour of the much-loved entertainer, musician and actor, Roy Castle, who spent the last year of his life raising funds to build the UK’s first research lab dedicated to lung cancer.

Roy Castle died on 2nd September 1994. He had never smoked, but believed that having performed in smoky clubs and theatres throughout his long and varied career may have been a factor in his developing lung cancer.

While his view might well be correct, the fact is that anyone with lungs can get lung cancer – be they a current smoker, former smoker or never smoker.

The charity that so proudly bears Roy’s name now funds vital research into key areas: early detection and improving the patient experience; it campaigns to improve life for people living with lung cancer (and their families); it offers class-leading information materials about the disease to patients, carers and health-care professionals; it offers emotional and practical support to those affected by the disease, an online support community for those seeking to quit smoking; a nurse-led helpline; and it runs a special competition in schools, universities and youth organisations to help young people learn about the dangers of smoking and to share that information among their peers by making short films.

Two pics show Roy as many of his fans remember him – with his beloved trumpet and full of life; while the second is near the end of his life, when he toured Britain on a special train to raise funds for the ‘Cause For Hope’ fund, which later became Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. That Tour, in July 1994, raised over £1million.

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