New findings have recently been released, which reveal that more than eight in 10 (81%) people in Britain believe that living a quality life is more important than a long life, and that enjoying quality time with those closest to you would be a key priority if faced with the prospect of limited time to live, with six in 10 people saying they would spend the time they had with family and friends.
Daniel Cohen, 41 from London, lost his wife Katie to cancer in April earlier this year. Katie had been suffering from a cough that wouldn’t go away, and in January 2015 she was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer, and was told it was inoperable and incurable.
Katie was put on a gruelling chemotherapy regime, which made her feel very unwell for long periods of time afterwards. But, after 12 months, she was given the opportunity to try immunotherapy. This new treatment gave Katie a new quality of life, and it meant that she felt well enough to spend precious, quality time with her husband.
Daniel and Katie decided to make the most of every minute they had together, and to do all the things Katie had always dreamed of doing. Daniel recalls some of these precious memories in a video he made as part of the Time of My Life campaign. This comes from a coalition of cancer charities, Ovacome, Fight Bladder Cancer, Action on Womb Cancer, Melanoma UK and Second Hope, and Roche, who are raising awareness about the importance of access to modern cancer treatments in the UK for people with incurable cancer.
The couple went to Key West in Florida, where they swam with dolphins. Daniel remembers family and friends warning him about travelling so far away, but how he felt that something changes when you know your time is limited and that any of those holidays or moments could be your last.
Daniel and Katie also took a trip to Jerusalem, Israel, where they went to the Western Wall and prayed. Daniel fondly remembers how Katie looked at him afterwards and said: “I don’t have to ask what you prayed for.” To which Daniel replied: “I know, but I don’t think I’ll ever get a PlayStation 4.” Which made them both crack up laughing. In Daniel’s moving video, he describes how those moments of humour remind you that you’re alive.
Most importantly, in this time, Daniel and Katie were able to get married. Daniel recalls how the only thing Katie wanted was to be well enough to enjoy her wedding day. Daniel described it as the best day of his life, and said everything about it was perfect.
Katie spent the last few months of her life campaigning for access to cancer drugs for other people in the UK. She believed that modern cancer therapies should be available to everyone, and that a few extra months means everything to someone with an incurable diagnosis. She campaigned for others who may not have had the same access to life enhancing drugs that she had. To support Katie’s legacy, Daniel is backing the #TimeOfMyLife campaign and calling for people to show their support by liking and sharing the three campaign videos.