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Julie to attend cancer debate

Julie, who is from Accrington, has been campaigning for greater research of the disease since bowing out of Coronation Street earlier this year, where she played cancer sufferer Hayley Cropper.

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Julie Hesmondhalgh

Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh will continue in her campaign to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer when she attends an important Parliamentary debate.

Julie, who is from Accrington, has been campaigning for greater research of the disease since bowing out of Coronation Street earlier this year, where she played cancer sufferer Hayley Cropper.

Her work has included supporting an e-petition set up by Maggie Watts of Scunthorpe following the death of her husband due to the illness.

The petition attracted 106,399 signatures and thus sparked a Parliamentary debate on the subject.

Julie, who is set to receive the Freedom of the borough of Hyndburn as we revealed last week, said: “It took a while to get those initial signatures and since then it gained significant momentum.

“I worked with Maggie, along with many motivated people affected by pancreatic cancer and the charities Pancreatic Cancer Action and Pancreatic Cancer UK to push the petition to the 100,000 signature milestone.

“What the Coronation Street storyline did for pancreatic cancer awareness is phenomenal, but much more attention and funding is required.

“Pancreatic cancer, which only receives one per cent of cancer research funding despite being the UK’s fifth deadliest cancer, desperately needs to be in the spotlight.

“The debate is not only important for raising the profile of pancreatic cancer in Parliament but the outcome will hopefully be the catalyst for change which is so desperately needed.”

The debate will be held in the House of Commons on Monday, September 8.