THE husband of a 54-year-old mum who died after battling pancreatic cancer is urging people to not overlook symptoms of the disease.

Alison Thomson passed away on March 15, 2018 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just nine months before.

Her husband Rob is now warning residents and GPs across the borough to not dismiss symptoms while raising cash for more research into the disease in Alison's memory.

Dad-of-two Rob who works with Merseyside Community Rehabilitation says Alison's battle was devastating to witness.

He told the Globe: "I joined the Merseyside Police when I was 16 and served 32 years.

"In that time I dealt with many horrific incidents including murder and road traffic accidents.

"I have seen things that were terrible and shocking.

"But nothing I’ve ever done or experienced could have prepared me for dealing with what Alison went through.”

"Alison was an occupational therapist for Wigan Social Services, when she first experienced symptoms - upper abdominal pain unexpected weight loss and also developed diabetes out of the blue.

"These symptoms were not picked up by the GP or the diabetes clinic as being a red flag for further investigation.

"She had no tests or scans and was simply prescribed pain killers, which didn’t help."

Alison was eventually rushed to hospital in July 2017 after suffering months of pain and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but was told because it had already spread to her liver and lymph nodes, it was terminal.

Described as a 'silent killer', pancreatic cancer only shows a few symptoms in its early stages but recognising these symptoms may enable more people to have surgery to remove the tumour.

Rob added: "The journey we had can only be described as heartbreaking.

"She had nine sessions of chemotherapy to try to extend her life which caused numerous distressing side effects and she lost a great deal more weight.

“She was on a mountain of medication which, as her carer, with no experience, I had to manage on a daily basis.

"We did our best, but we had no help, no support at all.

"Seeing her suffer was terrible to witness for me and our children - we felt completely helpless.

“Alison tried to remain positive throughout her illness.

"But I had done some research and knew how aggressive pancreatic cancer is. I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew deep down that she would never recover.

“Alison loved her job, she loved working with people in the community and helping those with medical needs.

"We had been married for 30 years.

"Our children were grown up and Alison and I were enjoying spending more time together and looking forward to the future.

“Nothing will bring Alison back and I am not looking to blame anyone.

"Many things could have - and should have - been done better.

"Alison was seen by a number of GPs and at the diabetic clinic.

"No-one looked at all her symptoms together, no-one investigated her symptoms further.

"I just want to make sure that no other families go through what we went through.

"My goal now is to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer and encourage GPs and other medical teams to do more to investigate symptoms, because if they get it wrong, then patients stand almost no chance of survival.

"I also want to raise funds for research to find a way of diagnosing this deadly cancer earlier."

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include upper abdominal pain which radiates around the back, painless jaundice and/or very itchy skin, significant weight loss, pale and oily stools, loss of appetite and severe fatigue.

Rob is currently hosting a week of events to raise awareness at The Oak Bar & Bistro in Greasby including a 'Smile Music Evening' on June 22 from 7pm and a ticketed charity gala night on June 23 from 7pm.

A JustGiving page has also been set up in Alison's memory to raise cash for Pancreatic Cancer Research fund, a charity who aim to improve the survival rate of patients by researching new treatments and ways to diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier.

To donate visit