A Visit to the Scottish Parliament

Good Afternoon Everyone,

A real dreich day here,just back from my gyming and swimming,thought I would check in.Well I arrived at the Scottish Parliament Building on Tuesday 4.00pm,I was first of the Roy Castle delegation,our meeting was due to start at 6.00pm,but since this is the first time I have been inside this building I wanted to wander round taking pics.My camera refused to work?some kind of message came up on its screen-Blocked?,oh its so frustrating,no matter what what I tried-nothing,grrr.Architecturally its not my favourite building outside,mind you they say the Sydney Opera building was,nt well received initially,now its so iconic so maybe it will grow on me with the passing years.Edinburgh is the laughing stock of the UK with projects such as this building,initially its construction budget was set at approx £40 million- slight underestimate-final bill ? somewhere about £400 million.They are currently laying a tram line system through Princes St, its cost has grown from £70 million,its now three overdue ,they have cut some miles from the project since the construction costs now stand at would you believe £750 million.($1.025 billion)thats equal to over £37 million/mile.

Well I did wander round the inside,its just beautiful,sorry no pics to share,you will just have to come and see it for yourselves.Well after a while the RC team arrive,Prof Ray Donnelly the founder and six others,one of the group compiled the report,she is a Doctor her name is Jesme Fox,wife of the UKs Minister of Defence,Liam Fox,she presented the report to Dr Nanette Milne MSP and gave a brief outline of the reports contents and then introduced me to the Assembly members.

My speech started with me introducing myself,family status, events leading up to my diagnosis,treatments,chemo and surgery I then went on to describe my work with the Roy Castle as an advocate,a member of the Stobhill LC support group,being a member of Team Inspire,CBN and LUNGevity,describing its aims and its support for research projects in LC,as well as its social forums.When I was introduced to Nanette,she said I know you,you have spoken before at this Parliament,no, she was right, we had met before,but at Stirling Uni,when I had asked her why if Lung Cancer was killing 42,000 Brits each year,which was greater than the combined totals of breast,prostate and bowel cancer why was LC only receiving 4% of the total research budget?.I really had the drop on her,because I even remember her reply “Its not a sexy cancer”.I did include these replys to that question in my speech,but to take the heat off them,I suggested their replies were not personal opinions,but a educated guess what the general public thought would have been the reasons.

I mentioned being a member of SIGN,working on the redraft of the document called the Management of Patients with Lung Cancer.Also my trip around the USA and the web site set up for me by LUNGevity, Help Eric-Hes coming to America,my blogs and pics,as entertainment in facebook but also to raise awareness of LC.I also mentioned LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep charity walk in Lincoln Park,and sharing a “platform”with Dr Jack West and Senator Andy Hill,which can now be see in You Tube Eric Byrne-Lung Cancer Survivor.I mentioned this was my third film made the others,Eric Byrne-Stop Smoking,which is being shown in Schools in Liverpool in a campaign called fag ends,to dissuade teenagers from taking up the smoking habit.

My closing comments was the stigma that is attached to lung cancer and smoking,that discriminates against funding donations ,research monies and support for lung cancer survivors,where other cancers may also be attributed to poor life style habits,eg alcohol and diets,yet they do not suffer the same stigma.60% of those dxd with Lung Cancer now are never smokers or given up many years prior.my final remark was-Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer.

7 Replies

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  • Hi Eric

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. You are such a dedicated advocate for lung cancer, you are to be congratulated. Sorry to hear about the camera but glad you enjoyed your visit to the Scottish Parliament and you obviously did a great speech too. I am really looking forward to meeting up with you next week in Manchester. Have a great weekend, take care and best wishes, Joanna

  • Hi Eric. Good stuff! We visited the parliament building too, last year. Hideous from the outside but pretty smart inside (the building that is!!) Good to get these important facts brought to the fore too. Our leaders really do need to read up on cancers and ensure funds are directed properly. The Report makes interesting reading and it's good to have the facts to hand. Have to make sure we meet up at Manchester! Bill

  • Hi Bill,

    Thank you,I am so looking forward to meeting you in Manchester.I really enjoyed my visit last year.Cheers.

  • Hi Eric,

    fantastic, that was a great read. I really hope they listened. I have started my own awareness campaign and at present have 2 local radio stations on board. I have also written to Lorraine on Daybreak, ITV's this Morning a few womens magazines and the Nursing Times! (I'm a nurse too). I f any are intersted I may need some extra support!

    Lyn x

  • Hi Lyn. This is soundng very promising. I'm sure we all wich you success because you're setting us an example. Bill x

  • Hi Lyn,

    What a wonderful contribution you are making in raising awareness of lung cancer issues with the media,I wish you every further success,I do hope Lorraine is generous to your approach,please keep me informed.Just wish there were more pro-active survivors and friends with your enthusiasm.Anything I can do to support I am here 24/7.

  • Thank you Eric :))

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