Lorraine Macfarlane

The Big Step Forward Virtual

My Activity Tracking


My target 13 mi

That overwhelming feeling...

Emotions are very strange things aren't they.  It's quite amazing how your whole demeanour can change through something we hear, feel, see, smell or do.  
This journey of raising funds for research into  finding an earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer has touched quite a few nerves and created various emotions in myself.  I personally have felt so miserably sad at reliving the last year following my brother's diagnosis in June and death in August, especially the last three months.  That said, the compassion and empathy of others who've walked similar paths is creating a team like spirit, a united desire of stamping out this rotten disease.
The testimonies of our donors and fellow fundraisers through the Facebook group has just boosted the desire to see more research, with an earlier test for diagnosis. 
I thought we'd do well to raise £250 as our team "Stephen and Lorraine Macfarlane" in Northern Ireland and yet, today our total is £1,622!  That's overwhelming!  Overwhelming in a good and a bad way.  Good that we've raised so much but bad that so many have been affected by this disease.
So, that's enough. C'mon folks, let's do this.  We can raise the funds for much needed research to speed up diagnosis and improve the current treatment process. I'm hopeful and looking forward to the day of hearing news of a breakthrough.  Every day is one day closer.  


When I was diagnosed with cancer, after the shock of the implications of it resulting in not having our own family, I built on hope. Following a total abdominal hysterectomy the issue was resolved. "Now, just get on and enjoy your life" said my consultant. That was 13 years ago. Sorted.
Last year to cut the story of the diagnosis short, my 64 year young brother Melvin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My biggest question was "why?". Why Melvin? Why now? Why not me?  The shock to his loved ones and friends was so tangible, it made you feel quite sick. So strong in his physical build, personality and morals. Why? 
Stephen - my husband - and I were on a roadtrip holiday that I had tried to cancel a few weeks before due to another issue.  We arrived in Kent on the Tuesday and I got to see Melvin in hospital on Thursday, 20 June, 2020. 
Melvin literally met me head on in the ward as he returned to his bed in a blue gown, looking more yellow than a minion! I just wanted to hang out with him.  Not chat chat. Just sit by his side. He settled down on his bed and he asked about our journey from home in Northern Ireland, the ferry crossing and down to Kent. He then went on to say that they are not now going to transfer him to King's in London for surgery as it's spread too far. I just felt numb. He looked away biting his lip. I couldn't cry then. I know now he knew more than he was letting on. Typical Melvin.  I asked about treatment but he said he didn't know yet, they had to sort the bile duct and insert a stent. We didn't talk much then, just sat and watched ward life for a bit.
I still question why but am also challenged by "why not?" I believe that part of his legacy is to continue to work with what you've got. If you've got a job to do, then do it well.  We can learn to adapt. We can grow. We are made to embrace change, even change as big as losing a loved one.  We grow up in all different ways. Our life goes through different seasons -  physical, mental, emotional, educational.  I'm still learning to embrace change without my brother, just like many others who have lost a loved one. I still ponder "why?"...

I'm fundraising in memory of my brother Melvin in aid of PCUK...

Melvin was a loving husband to his wife Suzanne and proud father of Daniel, his son.  The second in the family garage business to die of pancreatic cancer. Our brother in law Alex died 15 years ago. 

Pancreatic cancer is a tough one. Tough to diagnose, tough to treat and tough to survive. Together, we can change that.

Research breakthroughs give us hope and will save lives. The funds I raise will have the power to make that possible. Every step will support world-class researchers to speed up diagnosis and improve treatments. By walking together, we can create change to save lives.

My Achievements

Self donated

Reached 50% of target

Reached 100% of target

Shared page

Completed my walk

Thank you to my Sponsors


Alana Mcdonnell

Wishing you both the both the best of luck. Cancer has affected both my parents & im blessed to still have them with me. Sending lots of love 💕


Violet Shilling

Well Done lots of love Mum


Lorraine Macfarlane


Jeffrey Whitford

Happy to help and find a cure to all cancers.


Suzanne Shilling

Well done u r a superstar.. Melvin would be proud of you xxx