A year ago Con died from pancreatic cancer (PC) and the devastating effect that it had on his body. He endured just under a month of the hideous symptoms. So quick. Courageously, he went under the knife to prolong his life - we knew this would only be for a short time, max 18 months. His surgeon & team worked on him for 11 hours - the extent of destruction from the tumour was the worst case his surgeon had ever seen. Tragically, the following day he developed a clot in his hepatic artery, which lead to liver failure. He was only 47 and our beautiful children - Ned, Tom and Margot are so young to be without their Dad.
His PC came from nowhere. It was so very traumatic, tragic & sad for him and all those who loved him. PC is so very aggressive and unforgiving. It is rare to survive this ghastly diagnosis and when the disease impacts on young people it seems to be all the more difficult to gain positive outcomes.
There is a very good reason for choosing to raise donations for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund. This is because there is a strong history of pancreatic cancer in Con's family. His lovely Mum, Jill, died from it in her early 60's and her own mother too. This is called familial pancreatic cancer. It is worrying that Con & my kids are at risk of developing PC in the future. This is also the case for my sisters in law - Clare, Frances and Kaaren and their children. Con's sisters are already taking part in a screening & research programme for familial PC. However, it does not get much financial backing from the government, because it is so rare , but for us as a family it is very important for our future.
It is a bit crazy to be climbing Kili, especially as there is some way for me to go until I am fit enough! However, as many of you know, Con's favourite place in the world was Africa. He often talked of us going there together for long holidays when our kids were older. I know he would be proud of me (as well as falling off his chair in shock!)
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