Sunday, 30 November 2014

Tabling An Idea

Anybody know anything about Table Top Sales? This seems to be a concept which has arisen while we have been living overseas.

We popped into one the other day, at a church in Lytham.

Most, if not all, of the stalls seemed to be selling things to raise funds for various charities.

So I got to thinking, what if I had a stall selling autographed copies of my books, of which all the proceeds go direct to pancreatic cancer research. Any reason why not?

If you live in the area and you have a sale coming up, please contact me.

Or if you If you have suggestions for talk venues, if you want a signed copy of one of my books in return for a donation, or for any other reason, email me on:

Follow me on Twitter:

Thursday, 27 November 2014

You Can Help Give Two More Months Of Life

Sign the Petition

The Two More Months campaign achieved a great win for pancreatic cancer patients when hundreds of supporters wrote to their MPs and campaigned to have Abraxane, a new treatment for pancreatic cancer, added to the Cancer Drugs Fund in England.

Now Abraxane is in danger of being delisted from the Cancer Drugs Fund - but you can help save it bysigning and sharing our new petition.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Epic Hairstyles, Positive Outlooks And Thinking Of Others

This is Jonathan Taylor. It is not his normal appearance. This hairstyle is a creative use of the of the hair loss following chemotherapy, You can see what he normally looks like if you click HERE for an inspiring story about him in the Northern Echo.

Jonathan has Lymphoma, a cancer from which he is currently in metabolic remission, which means it is dormant but will probably come back and take his life.

Jonathan's answer to this has been not to wallow in self-pity but to write a book, the first of a series, and to form a support group for fellow lymphoma sufferers in the North East, where no such organisation existed before.

The chemotherapy has left him with severe nerve damage and ended his career as a builder. Jonathan is now a writer and clearly does not let any grass appear beneath his feet.

He has been kind enough to ask me to speak to his lymphoma support group at James Cook Hospital in Middlesborough. I am happy to do so.

Why would I speak to lymphoma sufferers about my big walk for pancreatic cancer support? Well, I think one of the messages from my epic walk is that huge tasks are not beyond us if we put our minds to them. Another is that, whatever your dreadful situation, there are other people out there who care and who are trying to help.

As it happens, in my immediate family there has not only been pancreatic cancer but there has been lymphoma, brain cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. There have been fatalities but there have also been miraculous recoveries.

There is always hope.

And there are always others to think of.

If you have suggestions for other venues, if you want a signed copy of one of my books in return for a donation, or for any other reason, email me on:

Follow me on Twitter:


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Churches, Hospitals?

As I reported earlier, the first of my UK speaking gigs for Pancreatic Cancer UK will be in a church, or at least in a church building.

When I say the first gig, I mean the first to be arranged. The second to be arranged looks as if it will take place earlier, and it will be at a meeting within a hospital.

More soon.

If you have suggestions for other venues, if you want a signed copy of one of my books in return for a donation, or for any other reason, email me on:

Follow me on Twitter:


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

First Gig Will Be In Church

I now have confirmation of my first UK speaking gig for Pancreatic Cancer UK. The venue is at Trinity Methodist Church in Pemberton, near Wigan.     

The organisation is Orrell Gentlemens' Club -  I am told there's an obvious joke there but Frank Dawber, a member of the club, who arranged this, is certainly a gentleman. I spent a day with Frank when he and several members of his walking club the Walters (Worked All Life, Took Early Retirement) escorted me, in relays, through Lancashire during my epic walk from the Pyrenees to the Pennines. 

The Orrell club meet each Thursday and frequently have a speaker. I shall be on the menu March 26th. It is possible that in addition to the Orrell Club members, some members of the Walters will also be present.

Although this is the first talk to be arranged, don't be shy about asking me to do one before March 26th. I am very flexible.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

First Gigs Are Shaping Up

I have a number of talks under negotiation. The first one to be fixed up, hopefully in the next couple of days, is for a Gentlemen's Club in Lancashire.

Others being talked about are for a staff reunion at one of my old employers, a walking club in Gloucestershire, a social club in Merseyside and a lifeboat support group in Lancashire. 

Once I have done the early ones, it should snowball, with introductions from one to another. I am particularly keen to do some for the WI, as it seems they have an insatiable need, and pass you on from one to another.

If you have suggestions for other venues, if you want a signed copy of one of my books in return for a donation, or for any other reason, email me on:

Follow me on Twitter:


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Vic And Gay On Tour

This blog is about my project to raise further funds for pancreatic cancer research by travelling around, giving talks to clubs and other interested bodies.

The talks will be about my Big Walk project, from inception to completion 14,500 kms later, I have already done several of these talks to groups of English speakers in France, where they were a great success. The fundraising bit comes at the end of the talks, not with a "whip-round", but sales of autographed copies of my books. There is no obligation to buy.

The first talks will take place in 2015. I believe I have clinched the date for the first talk. More soon.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Join The Social Media Thunderclap

On Thursday, November 13th organisations and individuals around the world will mark the first ever World Pancreatic Cancer Day.
Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer; a little known fact and something that has barely changed in more than 40 years.  World Pancreatic Cancer Day will help to bring about a much needed change in awareness levels about the disease and a focus on the need for urgent change.
This exciting initiative is being lead by an international group of patient organisations, including Pancreatic Cancer Action, who are committed to tackling the fight against pancreatic cancer by raising awareness of the disease and importantly, the poor overall survival rates.
The launch of World Pancreatic Cancer Day will be marked with a number of exciting developments, including a dedicated website and a social media campaign.  In order to achieve our ambition of raising awareness of pancreatic cancer on an international scale – and establishing a strong foundation for the future – we are keen to get as many people and organisations involved as possible.
In its first year the project is being sponsored by Celgene, a multinational biopharmaceutical company committed to improving the lives of patients worldwide.
You can get involved today by joining our World Pancreatic Cancer Day Thunderclap, which will blast out a message across social media about the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Monday, 10 November 2014

It's Not Orange, It's Purple

In The Purple
As I mentioned in another post, November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.  Along with finding a cure, raising awareness of pancreatic cancer among a largely unaware population is a major object of campaigners.

On November 1st, buildings across the country were illuminated in purple as part of the awareness campaign. And when you think "illuminations", there is no more obvious place in the country than Blackpool, home of the famous annual Illuminations. Local supporters arranged for Blackpool Tower to become purple for the day. Some of the other buildings taking part will remain purple for the whole month. Some will return to the imperial colour on November 13th, for another special day, on which more later.

Clicking on the picture will take you to more details of the "Purple Lights For Hope" campaign. Next year your house could be purple for the day - or your church, your pub ...

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Free Book

Would you like an autographed copy or one of my books?

To celebrate Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, I will run this offer only until 30th November.

If you are in UK, just make a donation (using the Donation button above to the right of this page) of £30 or more. Then email me at

 with your address details. And tell me which book you want. I will post you a personally autographed copy of the book of your choice.

If you are outside UK, just make a donation of £35 or more and do the same thing.

Of course, if you prefer to read books electronically, both of these books are available in e-form at Amazon Kindle or almost all other e-book suppliers. The royalties are small but they go direct to the charity. You could always make a donation as well :-)

And don't forget - Vic is dying to Talk The Walk to your club or organisation. Discussions are under way with a number of organisations, I am talking bookings for next year.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Why Am I Talking The Walk In My Mid To Late 70s?

My first wife died as a result of pancreatic cancer, as have a number of my friends and contacts. In every case, another problem, such as back pain, was diagnosed. In every case, the time from diagnosis to death was a few short weeks. This is the norm with pancreatic cancer.

With many other cancers, enormous progress has been made in the past few years. No cancer is fun but some versions of cancer have gone from being an almost certain death sentence to being eminently treatable, with vastly improved survival rates.

During the same period, very little progress has been made in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

  • 40 years ago, there were very few survivors of childhood leukemia. Now the survival rate is 80%
  • 40 years ago 46% of women diagnosed with breast cancer survived 5 years or more. Now the survival rate is 80%
  • 40 years ago 3% of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survived 5 years or more. TODAY THE SURVIVAL RATE IS STILL 3%!

That is why, in my 8th decade, I have committed my efforts to at least the start of my 9th decade to do what little I can towards the changing of that last figure.

And you can help me.

Email me at

Monday, 3 November 2014

New Targets, New Blog

In 2010 I walked 2,000 kms, from my then home in the French Pyrenees to the house in Blackpool where I was born. I did this in a symbolic 70 days, to arrive at the house on my 70th birthday. In fact, for the whole project, with training, I walked 14,500 kms. I did all this to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer UK. I set a target of £7,000 but raised over £10,000.

This YouTube link shows the BBC NorthWest coverage of the finish to the walk:

After the walk, I wrote a book - "Vic's Big Walk from SW France to NW England", about my experiences. This is available in paperback and in virtually every e-version known to man - Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, and many more. All proceeds of all versions go direct to Pancreatic Cancer UK. As do the proceeds of my second book "Living in the Real Cyprus". And more books to come. 

The talks I give are generally about the walk, with readings from that book. I have done several talks in France (where I lived until a few weeks ago) to groups of English residents. They have gone down very well. I have also made available individually autographed copies of my books. There is no obligation to buy these, but they have gone down very well also. 

Pancreatic cancer remains an appalling serial killer, with, unlike many cancers, no progress made in the past 40 years in diagnosis and treatment

Now I am again resident in UK I have set up a whole new phase of my fundraising for pancreatic cancer research, called "Vic Talks The Walk", complete with a new fundraising page:

Donations can be made directly by clicking on the "Donate" button to the right of this page.

There is a new target to raise another £8,000 by my 80th birthday, through talks, donations and book sales, with at least one new book forthcoming in the next year.

I am now ready to talk to interested organisations about "talking the walk". I also intend to have available another talk about my experiences living in Cyprus and how so many things are different from what the tourist sees.

I would be pleased to come to your organisation to give one of these talks. Please email me on