Advent Security forge new partnership with Pancare Foundation
February marks Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month
Advent Security are committed to Pancare Foundation’s mission to educate people about the signs and symptoms of upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, which include pancreatic, liver, stomach, biliary and oesophageal cancer, and improve the lives of patients, carers and families suffering with these devastating diseases.
The tragic loss of a number of the Advent Security team’s close friends and family members to upper GI cancers resulted in the development of a formal partnership between Advent Security and Pancare Foundation driven by Michael Hill, Advent Security Business Manager, who has been personally impacted.
Pancare Community Ambassador and Advent Security Manager Michael Hill shares his story
“I know first-hand how devastating this disease can be, after losing my dad to bile duct cancer in December 2016.
On a fishing trip with mates in June 2015 for his 60th birthday, Dad began to feel unwell. He very much enjoyed a beer, so to him, not feeling like having one meant he must be a little bit off. He went to see his GP, who initially thought he had pneumonia, so ran scans and blood tests. The results came back indicating there was something wrong and that’s when things started to get real.
Dad was referred to leading surgeon and Pancare Foundation founder, Dr Mehrdad Nikfarjam, who was confident Dad had bile duct cancer. Unfortunately, a confirmed diagnosis couldn’t be made for several months due to the complexities and difficult access to the area.
Often referred to as ‘silent cancers’, upper GI cancers are very hard to detect in their early stages as there are little to no symptoms.
After months of countless biopsies, a continued lack of appetite and extensive weight loss continued, and I remember thinking to myself, “this can’t be happening, Dad was always the strong one.”
In June 2016, Dad was still extremely unwell, so the decision to remove his Gallbladder was made in a last-ditch attempt to eliminate any other possibility of illness. Following the procedure Dr Nikfarjam confirmed the heartbreaking diagnosis of stage four bile duct cancer. His voice forever etched into my mind, “Geoff, we have found cancer in your bile duct”.
Dad was a fighter, so an intense treatment of Chemotherapy followed for a few months. For those of you that don’t know how chemotherapy works, it not only attacks the cancerous cells but the healthy cells as well. By this stage Dad had lost around 35-40 kgs, his body was slowly losing the battle. This was the single most difficult couple of months for our family.
4 weeks before Dad passed, it was decided that all treatment would cease, and it was about being comfortable for whatever time was left. Just after midday on December 20, Dad called me at work and asked if I could come to see him. I left work immediately as Dad’s condition had significantly deteriorated. I remember him saying to me “I don’t want your mother to find me”, so he was moved to palliative care the following day.
The date, December 21st,2016, is imprinted in my memory for all the wrong reasons. This was the day my mate, my mentor, my dad lost his fight with bile duct cancer.
Selfishly, we didn’t want it to be the end but deep down I think there was somewhat a feeling of relief.”
Advent Security commitment
Michael is honoured to work for Advent Security, who have supported Michael in his role as Pancare Foundation Community Ambassador and have come on board as Pancare Foundation Corporate Partners, willing to assist Pancare’s work in any way they can.
A shared commitment to a better future for patients and families is at the heart of a national partnership to create awareness and deliver long-term, sustainable revenue to Pancare. For new clients it introduces to Advent Security, Pancare will receive a generous share of funds through a referral partner arrangement.
Doug Hawkins Pancare CEO said, “Pancare are very proud to be in partnership with the team at Advent Security to improve, extend and save lives for families impacted by upper gastrointestinal cancers.”
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