Cancer Connections book honoured with national award

Cancer Connections co-founded Reg Hall with artist Bob Olley.
Cancer Connections co-founded Reg Hall with artist Bob Olley.

An inspirational book sharing the stories of cancer patients in South Tyneside has received national recognition.

The book, called Connecting With Cancer, was produced by the co-founder of South Tyneside charity Cancer Connections, Reg Hall, with the aim of telling the stories of people’s battle with the disease in their own words.

The award-winning Cancer Connections book.

The award-winning Cancer Connections book.

Released in June last year, the book aims to raise funds for the charity, which is dedicated to serving individuals and families suffering from cancer and its after-effects.

Now it has received an award in the British Medical Association’s annual book competition.

It was chosen from all of the other winners of the various medical categories by the Chairman of the BMA Council, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, for a special award called the Chairman’s Choice.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a senior GP who works in the south of England, chose the book as his favourite out of the 700 entered for the competition.

The Cancer Connections book

The Cancer Connections book

Mr Hall, director of Cancer Connections, which is based in Harton Lane, South Shields, said: “Connecting with Cancer is special because most of the words in the book are not mine. They are stories as told to me by people who have experienced cancer in their own words.

“It gives me the utmost pleasure to be able to tell all the contributors that their stories have been acknowledged in this way.”

The book took more than two years to put together, and features illustrations by leading South Tyneside artist Bob Olley.

Reg spoke to 35 different people with cancer from across the country who told him what is was like living with cancer.

He added: “A book about cancer was always going to be difficult for many non-medical readers.
“That is why I asked our favourite North East artist Robert Olley to see if he could illustrate it.

“Bob has no personal experience of cancer, but he responded as an artist to the emotions that are so strong in each of the stories.

“Bob’s illustrations made the book so much more meaningful to many people.

“I am delighted that the BMA has recognised the importance of his work.”