As a 16-year pancreatic cancer survivor who founded PCA in 2010 from the back bedroom in her home, Ali has created one of the UK’s leading pancreatic cancer charities and the only one that specifically focuses on improving pancreatic cancer survival rates through early diagnosis.
Because the number of survivors who make it to 16 years following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is so small in the UK, there are no statistics available. After reaching the 10-year survival mark, Ali joined the 1% club. With her work through PCA, low figures such as this put the fire in her belly to change the landscape of pancreatic cancer survival rates in the UK.
The charity has pushed ground-breaking campaigns, such as ‘Pancreas Not Penis’ and the somewhat controversial ‘I Wish I Had Another Cancer’ campaign and has won several awards.
PCA was the first ever organized to develop CPD-accredited e-learning on pancreatic cancer for healthcare professionals.
PCA has succeeded in campaigning for many life-changing interventions in terms of direct referrals for CT scans for GPs, direct referrals for pharmacists, and breaking down the barriers so that the general public can better understand the symptoms and risk factors. PCA continues to support a nursing post in Scotland and is committed to breaking down language barriers by publishing resources in six of the most commonly spoken languages in the UK (after English).
In 2020, she oversaw the merger of PCA with Pancreatic Cancer Scotland (PCS) to focus on improving symptom awareness, early diagnosis and patient care in Scotland and the UK.
Ali has devoted the last 16 years of her life fighting to improve survival rates for pancreatic cancer, which has just a 7.9% five-year survival rate in the UK, and she’s considered an expert thought leader by doctors, scientists and politicians in the UK and abroad.
She joined forces with others to set up the UK’s first Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week in November 2009 and was a Founding Board Member and President of Pancreatic Cancer Europe. She was also involved in creating the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition and was Chair of the World Pancreatic Cancer Day Committee for four years running.
All of these can save the lives of people with pancreatic cancer.
Whilst Ali steps down as CEO on 11th April 2023, she will continue supporting PCA in a new public-facing role as Founder and ambassador for its mission and vision.
Nicola Rees Mumford, chair of the PCA Board of Trustees, said: “Ali’s vision, drive, determination, and sheer hard work brought PCA from her back bedroom to a national charity fighting well above its weight. Focusing on the single most important factor in improving the survival rate of pancreatic cancer and early diagnosis.”
Ali raised public awareness of the disease and its symptoms. She never shied away from the challenges, including an award-winning advertising campaign and, more recently, joining PCA with PCS. She has been inspirational, bold and compassionate as a leader – a rare combination. We are all hugely grateful to her for everything she has done and will no doubt continue to do in her new role.”
Talking about her stepping down and beginning her new role, Ali Stunt said: “It has been a huge decision to step down from the position of CEO, but I know that by freeing up my time, it means that I will be able to more effectively advocate for all those affected by pancreatic cancer and fight to improve early diagnosis of the disease.”
“This, after all, is why I founded PCA and is where my true passion lies. And, while I’m not going far, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me and PCA over the years. I value that support and hope the amazing team at PCA will continue to be supported going forward.”