Isabel Kirsh’s decision to leave a bequest to the GI Cancer Institute was a personal one. In 2014, her older sister passed away from pancreatic cancer.
“We lived through it, I suppose is the most appropriate comment,” she remembers. “We discovered that the survival rates for pancreatic cancer are very low, and that there’s been a very minimal change over the past fifty years to survival rates.”
Currently, just 7.7% of pancreatic cancer patients live for more than five years past their initial diagnosis. Isabel and her family were motivated to raise awareness of the need for more research and better pancreatic cancer treatment. They formed the social media initiative #PurpleOurWorld to spread their message of the need for better treatments for pancreatic cancer.
Although the impact of #PurpleOurWorld has been powerful, on a more personal level Isabel’s drive to find better treatments for pancreatic cancer has led to her decision to leave a bequest to the GI Cancer Institute in her Will.
“My husband and I were doing fresh Wills, and in our previous Wills we had left bequests,” says Isabel. “We feel charity is very important so I cast my mind out to which charity I would like to leave a bequest to. With the connection to my sister’s death, I felt that I would like to leave money to an association that would work towards finding a cure for pancreatic cancer.”
Isabel notes that her decision to select the GI Cancer Institute was related to its specific focus on research into gastro-intestinal (GI) cancers including pancreatic cancer. She believes that further research needs to be done so that pancreatic cancer patients can have better survival outcomes, saying, “Research is the thing that’s going to get you the cure.”
More information on leaving a bequest is available here.