CANCER: Why this newspaper believes the good people of Yorkshire will deliver the ultimate Christmas gift to the people of God's Own County who need it the most

The front page of The Yorkshire Post on ThursdayThe front page of The Yorkshire Post on Thursday
The front page of The Yorkshire Post on Thursday
I recently lost my father-in-law to cancer; I lost my grandad to cancer; I've lost friends to the disease and seen others' lives changed forever having beaten it, writes Editor James Mitchinson.

Statistics suggest I will lose someone else close to me to cancer, and may ultimately face my own battle with it.

My experience with the so-called big C is not unique: every year 30,000 people across Yorkshire and The Humber sit down to be told they have cancer, and yet, our county is the biggest in the country not to be served by a Maggie’s.

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Maggie’s centres offer specialist support, counselling and conversation to cancer patients and their friends and families to help them in their day-to-day battles with tearfulness, frustration, isolation, depression; in fact, every emotion that comes with hearing that dreaded diagnosis. Yorkshire, we need a Maggie’s in this county if only to ensure those aforementioned feelings are punctuated with reassurance, smiles and hope, and you can make it happen.

Whilst built in the grounds of Leeds’ St James’s University Hospital, this facility will be there for the whole county to use. To date, fund raising efforts have amassed £5m. The requirement is £6m, and I urge you to pledge whatever you can to help.

To show our collective support, each one of Johnston Press’ Yorkshire titles will carry this wrap-around call-to-arms: from our flagship dailies The Yorkshire Post, The Star, Sheffield and Yorkshire Evening Post to our leading weeklies including The Scarborough News, Halifax Courier, Doncaster Free Press, Sheffield Telegraph, Wakefield Express and Harrogate Advertiser - and indeed every other title at our disposal.

Through our unrivalled community engagement with people we know care about this county - JP Yorkshire sells almost 400,000 newspapers per week - we genuinely believe that with your help, we could be looking ourselves in the mirror before Christmas knowing we have together helped people we don’t know, and very likely people we do know ... and love. What a wonderful Christmas gift to the county that would be.

Here in Yorkshire, we look after our own. That is what this message is about. We hope you can help us to help Yorkshire.