Nicola’s fight to #ForkCancer is personal.
Nicola lost her mum, Ann, to pancreatic cancer in 2017, two years after her stage 4 diagnosis.
Ann dealt with over a year of ‘tummy troubles’ that was thought to be due to coeliac disease.
Unfortunately, once they found pancreatic cancer to be the root of the problem, Ann was given just 4 months to live. She was determined to keep fighting for her family and survived for just over 2 years before passing away.
“Pancreatic cancer was a nasty disease, and we slowly watched our energetic, full of life mum, become weak, fragile and hanging on for life,” said Nicola.
“You try everything possible when there is a life of a loved one is hanging by a thread, but the cancer was the strongest in the end and we lost our beautiful mum at the young age of 63 in 2017, just shy of Christmas.”
The loss of Ann was felt deeply, and the impact rippled across the family unit.
“Our kids have lost an integral part of their future and the influence of a beautiful nanna, our dad has missed out on spending his retirement with his life partner and us girls [Nicola’s sisters] lost our best friend.”
Since the devastating loss, Nicola and her family have spent the past 6 years raising vital funds for various charities. This year, Nicola has decided to try something different and host a Longest Table at home!
Nicola is hosting an afternoon of wine and grazing at her Happy Valley home with 40 of Ann’s closest family and friends. They are celebrating what would have been Ann’s 67th birthday.
“We are asking for $20 per head entry fee which will provide a grazing table, drinks, a small thank you gift and door prizes,” said Nicola.
“We have a big raffle with most prizes donated by local small businesses and online companies we have followed on social media.”
While Nicola believes raising funds is vital for advancing cancer research and patient care, she also wants to create awareness around the importance of early detection.
“Early detection is imperative in helping cure cancer, educating people to act early, seek help and ask questions,” said Nicola.
“Having early detection tests available and readily ordered before symptoms progress too far and it’s too late.”
Nicola is determined to ensure other families don’t have to go through the devastation of losing a loved one to cancer.
“We all think it will never happen to those we love, and if it does, we hope it is the type of cancer that can be treated and cured,” said Nicola.
“When you least expect it, incurable cancer can strike and your entire world is put on hold and never returns to what was once your normal. We need to stop incurable cancer striking those we love by raising funds to stay ahead of the game.”
Join Nicola’s fight to #ForkCancer and help honour her mum, Ann, by donating to her Longest Table here.