Actors and Comedians Take Part In DEAR MUM For Gynaecological Cancer Charity The Eve Appeal

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On Monday 16 March, gynaecological cancer charity The Eve Appeal is hosting its first theatre night, Dear Mum. For one night only, actors and comedians are coming together to take part in a theatre event to raise money for money for vital research into the prevention of the five gynaecological cancers which between them affect 21,000 women a year.

In the atmospheric spaces of St Martin-In-The-Fields, celebrated actors and comedians will read letters exploring the notion of motherhood and how it is affected by a cancer diagnosis, special guests will perform work routed in their own experiences of gynaecological cancer.

The readers confirmed so far are Sheila Atim, Lolita Chakrabarti, Esther Coles, Joe Firth, Susannah Harker, Helen Lederer, Stephen Mangan, Gina McKee, Weruche Opia, Clifford Samuel, and Dame Harriet Walter, with more to be announced.

Special guests include actress and comedian Crissy Rock, who has had vulval cancer, comedian Karen Hobbs, who has had cervical cancer and Rosa Hesmondhalgh, performing a section from her one-woman show Madame Ovary about her ovarian cancer diagnosis.

A special letter by Angelina Jolie about having the BRCA gene alteration will be read along with poetry by Pam Ayres and Ian MacMillan.

In Lorna's letter to her mum Glenda she writes: "It was brutal, violent, terrifying, but I am glad we were there with you. I am glad you didn't suffer longer than you had to, but my god you suffered. It was like watching you slowly drown but being able to nothing but hold your hand and kiss your beautiful face.

"You were a one-off. A beautiful, funny and vivacious woman and a great mum, wife and nan. Everyone loved you. Everyone knew you. With your signature bouffant hair. When they said they had also found tumours in your lungs you said 'Well I have used a lot of Elnett over the years'."

All funds raised will help The Eve Appeal fund research into the prevention, risk prediction and early diagnosis of the five gynaecological cancers, womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. The charity is funding several pioneering research projects across the five cancer types, including the FORCEE programme.

FORCEE, led by Professor Martin Widschwendter, aims to develop one test to predict a woman's risk of four common female cancers, womb, cervical, ovarian and breast cancer. The FORCEE programme will facilitate the early detection of all four of these cancers, allowing for earlier and reduced treatment and better outcomes for these women.

Actor and writer Lolita Chakrabarti, says: "I am very pleased to be able to support this event sharing the stories of the women, families and friends affected by gynaecological cancers. Through the powerful words written by those with experience of these diseases we will explore what it means to lose your fertility, to witness your daughter deal with her diagnosis or to lose your mum. So little is known about these diseases that affect too many mothers, daughters, sisters and those who love them. This unique theatre event will help to raise money for research into the prevention against these life-altering diseases."

Athena Lamnisos, CEO, The Eve Appeal, says: "We are so delighted to be hosting this special event, and giving a stage to the stories of those affected by gynaecological cancers. With a fantastic list of readers and heartfelt letters, Dear Mum will shine a light on the impact of a gynaecological cancer diagnosis on families, and why our work is so important... to stop these cancers before they start."


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