A CAMPAIGN fronted by a Barrhead mum that granted breast cancer sufferers access to a revolutionary drug has been shortlisted for a Scottish Charity Award.
The Unlock Kadcyla movement, which was led by Lesley Graham, is in the running for the Cracking Campaign Award at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations ceremony next month.
Lesley, 40, urged health chiefs to make the secondary breast cancer treatment readily accessible to all Scots after doctors told her she had between four and six months to live in April last year.
Her fight saw NHS bosses agree to grant her access to the £15,000-per-bout wonder drug that has helped to stabilise the breast cancer which spread to her brain, liver and ribs, enabling her to live for longer.
However, Lesley was keen to help others too.
That eagerness saw the brave mother-of-two become the face of the Breast Cancer Now campaign, which has transformed treatment options for women with incurable HER2 positive breast cancer.
Lesley was one of four mums who persuaded global pharmaceutical company Roche and drugs approval body the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to reach a deal.
The SMC’s landmark decision will see more than 100 Scottish women battling breast cancer benefit from Kadcyla every year.
Reflecting on the campaign’s nomination, Lesley told the Barrhead News: “It’s fantastic. I think it’s a great achievement.
“We need to remember I started this out as a one-woman crusade – that’s how it felt to me.
“It was only once it started gathering momentum that we had other people join in and that’s fantastic but I do often wonder what would have happened if had we all just banded together at the start.
“There have been times through this where I thought I was kidding myself on as a one-man band.
“I don’t want it to come across as insincere and I’m not being big-headed but I do feel my efforts should be recognised.
“Yes, the other people did help but the ball wouldn’t even have started rolling if I hadn’t started it rolling at the top of the hill.”
Lesley’s campaign has already been commended at Westminster.
Her efforts were praised in Parliament by East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald last month.
Ms Oswald said: “The women who led the Unlock Kadcyla campaign have shown great courage and determination.
“I am pleased that their voices have been heard and that the SMC will now make Kadcyla available.
Lesley added: “To be recognised in Parliament by our MP was great. I hope that, out there, I’ve helped someone.”
Harnessing the power of social and print media, the Unlock Kadcyla campaign petition attracted more than 13,000 signatures in just six days.
Members of the public can help Lesley’s campaign enjoy success at the Scottish Charity Awards by taking part in an online vote.
To show your support, click here.