Avner's Message

Avner wrote this message in 2008 to encourage others to join he and Caroline in supporting clinical trials research into Pancreatic Cancer:

Dear Friends,

In July last year, my wife Caroline and I, moved to our new dream home in Avalon, on Sydney's Northern Beaches with tranquil views of Pittwater and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. Life was good and we felt incredibly lucky to move to such a beautiful area.

However, on the day we moved in I fell sick. After two months of pain and many different tests I was diagnosed with advanced Pancreatic Cancer at the end of September 2007. The prognosis was bleak, generally survival rates are between three and six months and all treatment could offer was to reduce the pain and improve quality of life. It was obviously devastating news to receive, as I didn't consider myself to be in a high-risk category and I had maintained a healthy lifestyle.

In spite of the devastating news, Caroline and I have had a wonderful twelve months, spending each day together, living life simply but to the full. We have received incredible love and support from family, including the Woolworths family and friends. It has given us strength to manage the tough journey and has filled our lives with positive energy and love. Looking back on my life, I have no regrets, I have had a fulfilled personal and professional life, but obviously I would clearly not have chosen this early exit.

As I have mentioned previously the prognosis is bleak. Currently there are no tools for early diagnosis and the disease is fast and lethal, it is in fact the most lethal of all adult cancers. The only way this will change is by a bigger investment into research and trials. Unfortunately Pancreatic Cancer is the poor cousin of other cancers with relatively little money invested to improve treatment. This means that oncologists are faced with making difficult assumptions when treating Pancreatic Cancer, relying on research for other cancers and hoping the findings will apply to Pancreatic Cancer. In my case, only my first treatment was specifically designed for pancreatic cancer and the two treatments since then relate to other cancers. Luckily these treatments have worked.

We have set up a fund 'Avner Nahmani Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund' with the GI Cancer Institute with the aim of raising funds specifically for Pancreatic Cancer research and trials. Whilst very large amounts of money are required for big research projects, effective trials can be conducted for relatively small amounts. Every dollar can make a difference!

I would greatly appreciate if you could support this cause.

Best wishes
Avner Nahmani