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Angela’s Nationwide quest for Neal

18 November 2011

A woman from Calne is spearheading a local campaign for more research into pancreatic cancer after losing her husband Neal to the disease in April last year.

A woman from Calne is spearheading a local campaign for more research into the deadliest cancer – pancreatic cancer – after losing her husband Neal to the disease in April last year, aged just 41.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and Angela Condict hopes to raise over £5,000 in Neal’s memory for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

Angela’s being helped in her quest by Nationwide’s Head Office in Swindon where Neal worked for over 10 years and by the Staff Union, which represents more than 3,000 members of staff.

Nationwide has already hosted a large display in its head office atrium to kick off Awareness Month and the Staff Union is also sponsoring Angela’s latest fundraising event at the Marriott Hotel in Swindon on Saturday 19 November.

“What started as a 70s-80s themed disco for family, friends and colleagues, has been rapidly turned into an impromptu early Christmas party for many of Neal’s colleagues with an auction of some amazing and rare sporting memorabilia,” says Angela. “It’s such a great way to remember Neal; he loved working there and had so many good friends. I’m really thankful for their huge support, not just when Neal was diagnosed, but throughout his illness and after he died.”

One of the things that shocked Angela most about Neal’s death was the aggressive nature of the disease. “Neal was a dedicated runner and at the peak of his fitness when he was diagnosed in September 2009, having set a personal best time for distance running only a few months earlier.

“He stayed so positive and determined throughout his illness and he really fought hard,” says Angela. “He was willing to take part in any clinical trial available to give himself a chance, but this is such a complex disease that there are hardly any treatments out there that could help.”

Despite his fitness and determination, Neal died just 7 months later, at home, with Angela and his parents by his side.

Soon after, colleagues from Nationwide and family members formed “Team Condict” and have run several half marathons and the Race for Life in his memory, plus Neal’s brother-in-law had his head shaved to add to the fundraising efforts.   

Charlie Pilkington, Senior Project Manager at Nationwide, was both a colleague and close friend of Neal’s for many years. He said:

“When Neal told us of his news it was such a shock to all of us who knew him; it didn’t seem real that someone who was so young could be hit with this. A few of us continued to see Neal when he was too unwell to work and we ensured we talked about anything and everything to make his life feel as normal as possible - and it wasn’t long before the subject was back on to how much better Bath RFC were than Northampton RFC!

“We all miss him enormously and felt the least we could do is support Angela both raise awareness of this disease and raise as much money as possible to fund research so that others might have a chance to live.”

Angela is donating to the UK charity, the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, which uses funds to support innovative research into the disease that could lead to new treatments and diagnostic tests. Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival statistics of any common cancer - only three out of 100 people will still be alive after 5 years – and yet the disease receives less than 2% overall research funding.

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