Thousands raised for lung cancer charity in memory of James Brokenshire

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Thousands Raised For Lung Cancer Charity In Memory Of James Brokenshire Thousands Raised For Lung Cancer Charity In Memory Of James Brokenshire
Former Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire. Photo: PA
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By Aine Fox, PA

Thousands of pounds have been raised so far in memory of former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire.

The family of the 53-year-old, who died on Thursday after suffering lung cancer, set up a fundraising page to encourage people to share memories, photographs and donate in his memory.

Less than 24 hours after the page was announced on Friday, more than £12,000 (€14,000) had been pledged by the public to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

On the fundraising page, the family said: “Great people leave a huge and lasting legacy. James Brokenshire MP wanted to make a permanent difference to other people’s battles against lung cancer.”

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They asked people to donate to the “excellent work of the Roy Castle Lung Foundation in lieu of flowers”.

Following Mr Brokenshire’s death, British prime minister Boris Johnson led tributes to him as the “nicest, kindest and most unassuming of politicians”.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin praised Mr Brokenshire’s commitment. “He was a dedicated politician and public servant whose sincerity and commitment always shone through, specifically in the context of his work in Northern Ireland,” he said.

Mr Brokenshire announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018 and underwent surgery to remove the upper lobe of his right lung.

At the time, non-smoker Mr Brokenshire said he had been prompted to see his GP after coughing up a small amount of blood.

He became vocal in calling for national screening for lung cancer, and in April 2018 used a debate in Parliament to call for a national programme to improve poor survival rates.

Mr Brokenshire said much stigma surrounds lung cancer, with many people incorrectly believing it is only caused by smoking.

In January, he suffered a recurrence of a tumour and later said the “somewhat troublesome” lung had been removed by surgeons at Guy’s Hospital in south London.

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But in August, he confirmed his lung cancer had “progressed” and he was starting a new line of treatment.

Mr Brokenshire’s family said he had been in hospital since last Sunday and his condition had rapidly deteriorated.

On the fundraising page, his loved ones described him as an “indefatigable campaigner for better lung cancer screening”, adding that he “was clear that the stigma of lung cancer should be removed”.

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