A HORSFORTH charity worker has been getting on her bike to back Cancer Research UK’s campaign for World Cancer Day, and urging everyone to join in and do their bit.

Jeanette Boyle has spent the day on an exercise bike in the window of Town Street's Cancer Research UK charity shop to launch a week of fun fundraising activities in the lead up to World Cancer Day on Sunday, February 4.

Jeanette, 58, of East Bierley, is encouraging people to come in and pick up a Cancer Research UK Unity Band and wear it with pride after watching her brother, David Boyle, 54, of Keighley, go through throat cancer for the last two years, which resulted in him losing his voice box.

She is looking forward to chatting with him again after he has surgery to have a speaking valve fitted in the next few weeks.

“I am so grateful my brother David is still here today," said Jeanette. "I can’t wait to hear him to speak again, it will be such an important milestone for him and all of our family. It will be like getting my brother properly back again.”

At the same time, Jeanette will be celebrating 15 year anniversary working for Cancer Research UK.

She said: “In all those years I have known so many colleagues and customers who have faced cancer. Sadly many of them were taken by it, but many more are still her and going strong.

“But the first time cancer hit my family was two years ago. David had a really bad cough for some time and his GP sent him to Bradford Royal Infirmary for tests. They discovered cancer in his throat. We were all really shocked. He had laser treatment, then radiotherapy every day for three weeks, where he had to wear a mask to hold him in place for the treatment. But tests a few months later showed the cancer was still there. He was devastated, especially when they told him he would have to have surgery to remove his voice box.

“He didn’t realise at the time what effect this would have on his life, nor did the rest of us. We knew he needed the surgery, but it scared all of us, especially my mum, who is 80. We didn’t know what to say to him.

“David had the surgery last summer and we joined together to support him as he adjusted to life without a voice. He went round with a little dry wipe board and pen and he used visual tools, such as mouthing the words and using his hands to help him communicate. But it was hard to see his frustration.

“Getting the speaking valve fitted will enable him to have a voice again and return to more of a normal life and he, like all of us, can’t wait. It might not sound exactly like the David we were used to, but it is going to make such a massive difference for him.”

Every day, around 80 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire and the Humber so by wearing a Unity Band, people can show solidarity with those affected by the disease.

But thanks to research, more and more people, like David, are beating it.

Jeanette added: “That’s why I want everyone in Horsforth, and across Yorkshire, to wear a Cancer Research UK Unity Band on World Cancer Day – it’s a fantastic opportunity to raise money for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research.

“You can pick one up from our shop in Horsforth or any Cancer Research UK shop in the area, including Bradford, Shipley and Leeds. Just by wearing a Unity Band, everyone can help make a real difference to people with cancer.”

Nicki Embleton, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Yorkshire, said: “We are very grateful to Jeanette for her support and showing how important it is for everyone to wear a Unity Band on World Cancer Day. By making a donation of just £2, people in West Yorkshire will be able to help fund crucial research to help give more men, women and children more precious time. More bands worn means more lives saved.”