Jen Hardy MBE

Inspirational Scottish Cancer Card founder recognised on King’s Birthday Honours List

Jen Hardy, founder of Cancer Card which supports anyone affected by cancer, has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award in the King’s Birthday Honours List 2023. The honorary awards recognise the most inspiring achievements and service of people across the UK.

Jen founded Cancer Card following her diagnosis of incurable breast cancer in 2017. Facing her own struggles in trying to access the correct support for herself and her family, she has made it her aim to ensure that no cancer patient in Scotland will ever have to face the same challenges.

Supporting all those affected by cancer, Cancer Card is a one stop shop which easily guides cancer patients and their loved ones to the services that will best support them. The charity’s online support hub allows them to find the help they need in one place and connect with a community of people who are going through similar experiences. This includes key sources of support which can help with finance, transport to and from hospital appointments, complementary therapies and free gifts and experience.

As well as founding and leading Cancer Card, Jen was instrumental in successfully campaigning to make Pertuzumab (Perjeta) available via NHS Scotland, a drug which can help to extend life projections within cancer patients. Driven by her own frustration of finding out that the drug was available on NHS England but not NHS Scotland, she gathered a huge amount of support from other cancer patients and the Scottish communities and succeeded in her goal to have Perjeta established in Scotland. Thousands of people in Scotland each year continue to benefit from her active and persistent campaigning for the drug.

This award recognises Jen’s outstanding leadership skills and inspirational support for all those affected by cancer across the country. Despite navigating her own stage 4 cancer journey day-to-day, including regular hospital treatment, she continues to work tirelessly for the charity, driving the culture of openness, honesty, and genuine desire to help support those impacted by cancer.

Jen Hardy, Founder at Cancer Card, said: “Cancer Card is more than a charity to me. It is a labour of love inspired by my own journey and driven by the desire to bring hope and support to others facing cancer. We understand that cancer affects more than the patient and are focussed on providing access to the support needs of partners, families and friends too as they try to come to terms with the world of cancer.

“Unfortunately Perjeta wasn’t available in Scotland at the point when it would have helped me. However I am so grateful that this drug, which is extending lives every day, is now available in Scotland.

“We are already seeing the difference that Cancer Card is making to so many people, by enabling them to access everything they need in one place and take less time out of their day-to-day lives to do so. Our team is so thankful for all of the support that we have received over the past few years and we are working to widen our impact even more, with the aim of ensuring that our physical Cancer Cards, which provide a fast-track QR code to our online hub, are available in all hospitals, GP practices, libraries and Maggie’s Centres throughout Scotland.

“Receiving this award is more than I could have ever dreamed of. It consolidates the importance and purpose of what we do everyday.”

Miles Briggs, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Lothian, said: ““I would like to offer my wholehearted congratulations to Jen on being included on the King’s first Birthday Honours list for her services to the promotion of Cancer Awareness in Scotland. I have been inspired by her campaigning and determination to make a difference to other people’s lives. Jen has put in a power of work to help create of a one-stop information portal for others who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families. Her tireless work, along with that of her team and countless volunteers, has been an inspiration to all of us and the success of Cancer Card is a testament to this.

“Jen’s inclusion on the Honours list recognises her determination to help others and is no more than she deserves.”

Ian Pirrie, Chief Executive at Cancer Card, said: “Jen is truly one of the most inspiring individuals I know and there is nobody more deserving of this prestigious award. Unfortunately, more than 3 million people in the UK are living with cancer. The support that Cancer Card provides is helping to alleviate the unnecessary stresses that so many would have previously faced following their cancer diagnosis, whilst also trying to deal with the emotional toll that comes alongside this. The Cancer Card team and I are delighted that her hard work and sheer dedication to improving the lives of others has been recognised.”