Cancer patient designs ‘Cancer on board’ badges

Thursday 17 March 2016

James McNaught is living with cancer and has designed 'Cancer on board' badges to help him get a seat on public transport. The 45-year-old civil servant spent three months travelling on the Tube to University College Hospital for treatment. James told the Evening Standard:

“The thing about cancer is everybody is terrified of it and it's a club that nobody wants to join but once you are part of it, everyone looks out for you and that's where the idea for the badges came from," Mr McNaught said.

“I couldn't talk as I had radiotherapy in my throat. There was no way I could make myself understood short of writing notes.

“I had to travel feeling like that and the heroic amounts of morphine I was prescribed made me appear drunk."

As with many illnesses, including brain tumours, people's reactions to the outward effects of many illnesses are often misconstrued and often make travelling in public places difficult. He acknowledges that, like the Baby on Board badges worn by pregnant women, a cancer version may not be to everyone's liking.

A Transport for London spokesperson said: “We are also aware that some of our customers may have a hidden condition, which requires them to be seated, and we are currently looking at every available option to help improve their journey. We will be looking to discuss Mr McNaught's idea further with him."

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