Two women whose lives were affected by cancer say making a positive difference is the perfect legacy to leave behind

GREAT-gran Irene Perkins made a full recovery from breast cancer after a shock diagnosis.

“I know it was the treatment I had that saved me,” she says. “We must keep researching. They’re finding different things all the time.

“They need to find so many different answers, and they can’t do it without money. We can’t expect to be cured if we don’t give them the money to do it.”

Leaving a gift in your Will to Worldwide Cancer Research could be the “spark that makes more lifesaving cancer cures possible,” says the charity’s chief executive, Dr Helen Rippon.

“Gifts in Wills have helped fuel every breakthrough, every treatment and every life we have saved,” she explains.

“People can leave gifts of any size including a share of their estate. Being remembered in someone’s Will is an honour for Worldwide Cancer Research - it is a declaration of their wish to see a day when no more loved ones are lost to cancer. With the number of deaths caused by cancer worldwide predicted to increase by almost 55 percent between 2020 and 2040, the power of that gift in the future will be needed more than ever.”

The charity’s ‘Free Gifts in Wills Guide’ contains comprehensive information about how to make a Gift in Will, the impact of the gift, practical things to think about and information on how to make or update a Will for free.

Dr Rippon adds: “If we don’t continue to support new ideas, the pipeline of future tests and treatments for cancer will run dry. The kindness and generosity of our supporters could change the course of cancer research and save many more lives in the future.”

Irene Perkins agrees. The 87-year-old was working for an electricity company’s customer service department in 1990 when a mammogram revealed she had cancer in her left breast, and she required a lumpectomy. Irene says: “When I came round, the doctor who did the operation said, ‘I think you’re going to be pleased with me’. And I was. Six weeks of radiotherapy followed, and then I started taking tamoxifen.

“That was more than 30 years ago. The treatment, including taking tamoxifen, has enabled me to make a full recovery and go on to have the absolute joy of seeing my nine grandchildren grow up - and their children too, my wonderful great grandchildren.”

She adds: “I’ll always be grateful to cancer research.”

Pat, who is from Falkirk, lost her beloved husband Alistair to cancer in 2015.  He had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma shortly after the couple’s 25th wedding anniversary. Warned it was likely the disease would keep returning, Alistair had a bone marrow transplant at the age of 58. 

The Herald: Pat holds a photo of her late husband Alistair 


The treatment was successful and Pat and Alistair were given “the gift of time” - they travelled around the world and celebrated happy family milestones, like their sons’ weddings and the arrival of their grandchildren.

“We had 20 more wonderful years together thanks to cancer research,” says Pat.

“I’ll continue to support Worldwide Cancer Research now and after I’ve gone in the hope that one day, my legacy can make a positive difference to other families. A legacy is the most worthwhile thing I can do.”

You can find out more about leaving a gift in your Will to Worldwide Cancer Research, including more on the free Will offer, by requesting their Free Gift  in Wills guide which is available to download from or call the team on 0300 777 7910