Norwich North MP reveals family cancer battle at charity ball in Sprowston

A Norwich MP has urged men to get themselves checked out by the doctor after she revealed a male member of her family has recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, spoke about her family's very personal experience with the disease at the first fundraising ball of the Blue Ribbon Foundation (BRF) – set up to raise awareness of male cancers – at Sprowston Manor Hotel.

Ms Smith, a patron of the charity established by Norwich man Mel Lacey after he survived a prostate cancer scare, said: 'This year I've had the difficult experience of someone in my close family being diagnosed with cancer and it's all the more important to me to encourage others to go for checks to see their doctor to take all of the screening opportunities available so they can keep on top of their health.

'I've been a supporter of the BRF since its very inception by Mel, who approached me as his MP to be its first patron, but it's all the more special to me now that a member of my family has had this recent experience. It was picked up in a routine screening due to his age and I'm obviously overjoyed that he's seemingly making a good recovery.

'The message is take care of your own health. No-one else will do it for you, so take advantage of the great health service we have in this country and see a doctor. If you should have a health problem then early diagnosis is one of the most important things. It means you stand a better chance of recovery.'

Mr Lacey said: 'The inaugural Blue Ribbon ball was an amazing success. It is too early to give an exact final figure, but we believe about �4,000 has been raised for our charity. We're already receiving requests to make this an annual event and, of course, we will be considering that once we recover from a very vibrant night.

'Jonathan Prince and I sincerely thank everybody who played a part in this success, and none more so than the good people who bought tickets.'

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Saturday's ball raised funds for the charity launched this year. For details see