Lung Cancer Survivors and Local Personalities Support Hull Lung Health Campaign

05 July 2019

Lung cancer survivors and local personalities are amongst those supporting a campaign that urges people in Hull not to ignore the signs that they might need a lung health check.

A series of short films that tell personal survivor stories as well as instructional films featuring radio presenters, comedian Lucy Beaumont and boxer Tommy Coyle were released to coincide with the ‘Check Your Lungs’ campaign’s first community-facing event taking place at St Stephen’s Shopping Centre.

The event was part of the People Hull programme, led by Hull York Medical School and funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, which will be visiting locations throughout the city over the coming months to help you understand the signs that someone you know might have an early sign of a lung health problem.

In one film, East Yorkshireman, Bernie Fleming, describes how his symptoms of lung cancer were first detected whilst out walking in the hills of North Yorkshire: “My partner Sarah said, your breathing’s not right, it sounds different, and I said well it would be; we’ve just climbed a hill. She said, ‘no it’s different to normal; I know when you are breathing heavily. It sounds strange’. A couple of days later I had a slight tickly cough and when I coughed, I had a tiny speck of blood. Not wanting to believe anything was wrong I just thought it was probably something or nothing.

“A couple of days later I had another cough and this time; three tiny specks of blood, so I thought this time that maybe its time to get it checked out.

“In the past, I would have not bothered the doctors, but I have known people who have cancer who’ve had blood and coughing things up, so I thought it was better to be safe than sorry. The doctor referred me to Castle Hill where I met the lung function specialist and we started out on the road to finding out that I’d got lung cancer.”

Mr Fleming, who has recently returned to work as a prison officer specialist facilitator of interventions at HM Prison Hull, has chosen to support the campaign as he believes it is important that people talk with others about their experiences with cancer. “Because of their support, there is no doubt that I’m a much stronger and positive person and I don’t know that I would be if I hadn’t talked as much as I did to a wide range of people.”

Also sharing her story is June Pitt, of Anlaby who appears alongside her 16 year-old grandson Luke in a film through which she describes how early detection of lung cancer meant that she was successfully treated and has now recovered.

You can watch the films here:


Through supporting the Check Your Lungs campaign, Mr Fleming and Mrs Pitt are amongst those sharing the message that anyone showing symptoms that could be an early sign of lung cancer should be encouraged to make an appointment with their GP, call GP Access+ on 01482 247111 or visit a walk-in centre.

Tommy Coyle arrived to officially to open the community event along with lung cancer survivors and representatives from Hull York Medical School and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The main symptoms indicating that someone might need a lung check include: a cough that doesn’t go away after three weeks, a long-standing cough that gets worse, coughing up blood, an ache or pain when breathing or coughing, loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss, persistent chest infections, breathlessness and tiredness or lack of energy.

For more information about symptoms and how to get a lung check, visit


Notes to Editors:
Media contact: John Gilbert, Director, eskimosoup
t:    t: 01482 601886        m: 07940971071

About Hull York Medical School 
Hull York Medical School is a partnership between the universities of Hull and York. It works across both university campuses and with NHS and community health providers to deliver exceptional medical education – centred on problem-based learning, clinical and communication skills and early and sustained clinical exposure. 
The School’s impact goes beyond teaching and learning and extends to research, which has discovery and innovation at its heart. 
The School’s world leading experts are advancing improvements in healthcare – diagnosis, treatment and care – and over 85% of this research is world leading or internationally excellent (REF). 
At Hull, our research is transforming the lives of those patients with life limiting conditions with the recently opened £2.4 million Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull providing a home to our world leading research in this area. Our researchers are also impacting the way cancer is diagnosed, understood and treated at a local and national level – encouraging early diagnosis and reducing inequalities in access to treatment.
At York, our researchers have a global reputation for their work. From scientific discoveries that underpin the development, diagnosis and treatment of the world’s most aggressive diseases, to mental health research which addresses the needs of a wider variety of patients and helps to identify, treat and support them, this work is casting new light and impacting global public health. This research is improving the lives of patients locally and regionally as well as impacting national and international health agendas.

Yorkshire Cancer Research

Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email:

Notes to Editors

  • Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
  • Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
  • Current statistics show that 583 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
  • We aim to:
    • Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
    • Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
    • Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
    • Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
  • For further information, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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