Life-saving Lothian bus advert a tribute to cancer victim

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images of the latest blockbuster, promos for Edinburgh Zoo or a new theatre release are typically plastered across the side of city buses, but now hitting the streets of Edinburgh is an advert that might literally prove to be life saving.

When Lothian bus employee Colin Barclay lost his wife to ovarian cancer, his colleagues knew they wanted to do something to help, but what they arranged was beyond anything he might have imagined.

The first ever ovarian cancer bus will hit the streets of Edinburgh. Picture: Wullie Marr

The first ever ovarian cancer bus will hit the streets of Edinburgh. Picture: Wullie Marr

Colleagues not only voted him Lothian’s Unsung Hero by his colleagues at the company’s People Awards, but they organised for one of the fleet to be branded with a life-saving message.

The first ever ovarian cancer bus in the UK has now been unleashed on the streets of Edinburgh. The signs and symptoms of the disease are displayed across the rear and sides of the bus to raise awareness across the city.

The new partnership between charity Target Ovarian Cancer and Lothian Buses was sparked by Colin’s dedicated campaigning.

He sadly lost his wife Jill in January last year and hopes the campaign will help save lives.

Colin said: “Target Ovarian Cancer is helping women across the UK get an early diagnosis, which can be life changing for many.

“My family and I are overwhelmed by the support of my colleagues at Lothian.

“My wife Jill and I spent years campaigning to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and I hope the adverts on this bus will highlight the symptoms and save lives.”

The bus will point out the four main symptoms of ovarian cancer; a bloated tummy, always feeling full, tummy pain and needing to wee more together with Target Ovarian Cancer’s contact details for further support and advice.

Jim Armstrong, Lothian’s 
engineering director, said: “Colin has worked with us here at Lothian for over 40 years and is a dedicated member of the engineering team.

“He has worked tirelessly to raise ongoing awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and his strength, determination and loyalty is much admired through the whole business.

“We are honoured to be able to help Colin and his family pay tribute to his late wife Jill’s memory and we very much hope that ‘Jill’s bus’ will help promote the fantastic work that Target Ovarian Cancer does.”

Every year 600 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Scotland and 360 women die from the disease.

Annwen Jones of Target Ovarian Cancer said: “Jill worked tirelessly, in spite of ill health, to raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer. I am so grateful to Colin and his family for all they are doing in honour of Jill.

“Awareness of ovarian cancer is low among women and GPs, with two thirds of women diagnosed once the cancer has already spread. Enough is enough. Together with Lothian, we can make sure women are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage.”