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Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Personal Stories

Every year rover 750 New Zealanders are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and over 600 families lose a loved one to this striking disease.

This Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month we want to Shine a Light on just a few of the stories told by those fighting their personal pancreatic cancer battle, and those who have lost someone dear to them.

Watch and share our campaign video...

This year's campaign video focuses on the importance of research and clinical trials to improving outcomes for pancreatic cancer. 

Trial patient Sandy Clarke, Medical Oncologist Dr Jane So, and GCF's Liam Willis talk about the importance of clinical trials and research in shifting the dial for pancreatic cancer patients in Aotearoa.

Terina's Story

"I lost my dad in March 2021. He had a very short diagnosis. The day he found out was my mum’s birthday – 15 February and he passed away on 21 March. So we had 5 fast weeks and a very harsh reality of this cancer.

My Dad was a very beautiful person, it sounds like a cliché, because I’m his daughter – of course I’m going to say that, but he was. He’s so missed.

Sean Hogan's Story

It took seven months for pancreatic cancer to take Sean’s father’s life. Patrick Hogan was 62.  18 months after his passing, Sean wants to do his part to raise awareness of this ‘brutal’ disease.

“After Dad was diagnosed, I went on a google hunt for more information. I had no knowledge of pancreatic cancer; it definitely doesn’t get the profile that other cancers get.

Nyree's Story

Nyree was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2017. Despite having no symptoms, a full physical assessment showed her liver function was not 100%, and an MRI confirmed she had pancreatic cancer.

Three months of chemotherapy helped shrink the tumour enough to have surgery and after another three months of chemotherapy, Nyree was told she was cancer-free in 2018.

Then in late 2019, the cancer came back. Nyree, now undergoes maintenance chemo every fortnight in an effort to keep the cancer at bay for as long as possible.
Her message to other New Zealanders is simple: if you have aches and stomach issues that can’t be explained, go get checked and have all the tests done.

Briony tells her father's story

Briony's relationship with Pancreatic Cancer began last year when her Dad – Colin, who lived in the UK – was diagnosed.

Sadly, on 19th June 2019, Colin was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer, with metastases to his liver. It was a terminal diagnosis of this aggressive cancer, and they said he may have less than two months to live.

After travelling back to the UK to spend precious time with her dad, Briony was shocked when she first saw him. His weight loss had been dramatic, leaving him gaunt and weak. Sadly, Colin's decline was very rapid, and was admitted into palliative care on 23rd July and passed away a matter of days later, on 2nd August, just 6 weeks after his diagnosis.

Personal Stories

Read human stories of triumph, resilience and sadness told by patients and whānau affected by pancreatic cancer.