Ovarian cancer is a complicated disease – it’s difficult to diagnose and challenging to treat – and it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. This year we were delighted to see politicians in England, Wales and Scotland helping put a spotlight on the disease, uniting behind our World Ovarian Cancer Day campaign for earlier diagnosis.
On 8th May MPs across the political spectrum wore white roses in the House of Commons to mark World Ovarian Cancer Day. Prime Minister Theresa May, Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn and hundreds of other politicians united behind our campaign, pledging their support for the earlier detection of ovarian cancer.
The campaign was made possible thanks to the tireless work of MP Sharon Hodgson, chair of the APPG on Ovarian Cancer and long-time supporter of Ovarian Cancer Action.
In Wales, supporter Hannah Blythyn AM gave out 60 of our white roses to her fellow Assembly members in the Senedd for a second year running. It was wonderful to see parties coming together and wearing their roses to support ovarian cancer and raise awareness in the Siambr. We were particularly glad to see the Health Minister Vaughan Gething supporting the campaign, as well the First Minister Mark Drakeford, who gave all his press conferences that day wearing his rose.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) united after First Minister’s Questions for the WOCD photocall. Ruth Davidson (Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party) and Lewis Macdonald (convener of the Health and Sport Committee) were just some of the cross-party MSPs who joined Monica Lennon on the steps of Parliament’s Garden Lobby to be pictured holding symbolic white roses.
The Garden Lobby buzzed with activity as MSPs, keen to engage with the campaign, passed roses amongst themselves, took photos holding campaign pledge boards, and posted on their social channels. Overall, it was wonderful to see politicians stand alongside fellow representatives in the other national parliaments in order to project a real message of hope. WOCD 2019 was the first OCA campaign to take place in Scottish Parliament. We are incredibly grateful to Monica Lennon for her support and can’t wait capitalise on the energy and openness of the day to campaign for early detection with our new allies in Scotland.
We are calling on MPs to pledge their support and take action to transform survival rates for women with ovarian cancer in their constituencies. Download our template letter and ask your MP to pledge for better ovarian cancer survival rates.