At just 55 years old Deb Kedzior was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and in October 2018, only 33 days after her diagnosis, she passed away. Her husband Andrew and children Alexander and Sophie suddenly faced life without her.

The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is 8.7%. It was predicted that in 2018 there would be an estimated nine new cases diagnosed and eight deaths a day from pancreatic cancer.

To put it into perspective, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is over 90%.

New research into treatment options for all gastro-intestinal cancer patients is absolutely critical to increase the current survival rates, especially for pancreatic cancer.

“That’s a huge part of why we’re doing the Gutsy Cape to Cape Challenge in Western Australia this year. We hope to raise enough funds to make a difference to somebody else’s wife and mum in the future,” says Alexander Kedzior.

The funds that the Kedzior family are raising through this Gutsy Challenge will go towards the GI Cancer Institute’s annual Innovation Fund grant. This grant funds new research that aims to improve treatment options and outcomes for those diagnosed with a GI cancer.

Essentially, the Innovation Fund allows researchers to take the first step into new clinical trials. These first steps then go on to improve treatments for those 28,900 Australians diagnosed with a GI cancer each year.

Alexander goes on to say, “We’re also doing it to honour Mum. She was and is one of the most generous, loving and kind-hearted people that you could ever hope to meet and we miss her every day.”

The Kedzior family hope that by doing this challenge the memory of Deb will live on through their actions and they will make some contribution, no matter the size, to the future of pancreatic cancer patients.