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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 15:35 GMT
'No regrets' over cancer sit-in
Jayne Sullivan

Tired after two-and-half hours sleep on a sofa in the Welsh assembly's foyer, cancer drug protestor Jayne Sullivan says she "wants to go home".

But speaking after the first night of her sit-in protest in Cardiff Bay, the 45-year-old has vowed to continue.

She says she will stay there indefinitely until the drug Herceptin is available to all breast cancer sufferers in Wales.

The cancer patient began her sit-in on Wednesday morning and said she has "no regrets" about beginning a potentially lengthy protest on the assembly sofas.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2005, Ms Sullivan underwent surgery and chemotherapy but has recently been told she continues to suffer from a virulent form of the disease.

I was concerned with my children and my job - I had nothing to with politics or making a point
Jayne Sullivan

Before her diagnosis and treatment for cancer, Ms Sullivan, who works as a project manager with children with behavioural difficulties, said she had never been interested in protesting or politics but was angry women were being denied a drug available elsewhere.

She said: "I never thought I'd do something like this in a thousand years.

"I was concerned with my children and my job - I had nothing to with politics or making a point.

Jayne Sullivan
Ms Sullivan deals with a constant stream of media interviews

"But I feel angry about this - if there is a drug out there that can stop cancer returning and it's being used in America, Europe and India, why isn't it available for women in Wales?"

Surrounded by flowers, food hampers and messages from well-wishers, Ms Sullivan has found herself dealing with the constant attentions of the media, politicians and members of the public since beginning her assembly sit-in.

Although she said she finds the attention "difficult" Ms Sullivan said she as the right person to protest over the issue.

"I feel I'm articulate enough and will not be fazed by bureaucracy," she said.

"A mother of a young child, or a sister or a niece may not be in a position to do it, but I am.

"Aside from my personal situation, I'm doing this for all women and men who should be given this drug when they are in the early stages of cancer."

Jayne Sullivan
Ms Sullivan has received flowers and other gifts from well-wishers

Ms Sullivan described her first night alone in the assembly's reception as "spooky" and said she was missing her 17-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter.

But she said the sit-in was the best way to make her point as opposed to sitting down and arguing with a politician.

"I felt I had to stand up for women," he added. "I didn't discuss it with many people beforehand and my family didn't attempt to stop me.

"My family is concerned about the life of a woman who has breast cancer - this (the protest) is trivial to by comparison."

Ms Sullivan said she would continue her protest indefinitely and would move her sit-in from the current assembly building to the new chamber - due to be completed soon - if necessary.

She added: "I'm only leaving this area to see my oncologist.

"I've got no regrets about starting this protest but I'd rather be in my own bed.

"I'll keep going and I'll move into the new assembly building.

"It's very difficult, I don't want to be here and I want to go home. But, I'm not going."

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