Terence's gift of hope
Terence shares his story about how pancreatic cancer took away the two people he loved the most, and why he still has hope for the future.
A wonderful partnership
David and I met at university in 1956 when he knocked on my door and asked if I’d join a student demonstration. That was the start of bond that would last for 62 years.
David and I both became teachers. David returned to teach at the grammar school where he’d been a pupil – and stayed for 32 years. I taught with him for a number of years but ended my career as Head of Special Needs at a college of further education.
After we retired in the early 1990s, we spent every single day together for 30 wonderful years. In February 2006, when it was David’s 70th birthday, we became civil partners, finally celebrating becoming lawful after 50 years together.
Three lives shattered
And then, in January 2019, David was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
It was Gillian all over again. My sister Gillian was only 66 when she died from pancreatic cancer in 2012. We had a truly extraordinary relationship and even though she’s no longer here, I still speak to her every day.
Gillian died just three days after her diagnosis and I don’t know how I would have coped without David by my side.
Time seemed to stand still when the consultant told us that David had pancreatic cancer.
The weeks following David’s diagnosis were the worst of my life. Everything that could go wrong did, including him fainting on a hot, crowded train after a harrowing hospital appointment.
Although David was eligible for surgery, he never made it as far as the operation. He died three weeks after he was admitted to our local hospital for a preliminary procedure.
Over 50% of people die within three months of their diagnosis. For some, like Gillian and David, it’s just days, or weeks.
Pancreatic cancer took away the two people I loved the most. I know that if you have lived through a similar devastating experience, you will understand the shattering impact it has.
Hope for the future
With David gone, I felt helpless and adrift. Then, looking through some of the leaflets the hospital had given me I read about Pancreatic Cancer UK. The more I learned about their research, the more hopeful I felt about the future.
Researchers funded by Pancreatic Cancer UK are getting closer to finding the answers that will protect us from this ruthless killer. You can help them make that life-saving breakthrough by remembering Pancreatic Cancer UK, as well as your nearest and dearest, in your Will.
Gifts in Wills - funding life-changing research
A Pancreatic Cancer UK research project, which was made possible partly thanks to generous supporters leaving gifts in Wills, has already achieved a huge breakthrough.
It has been proven that pancreatic enzyme insufficiency therapy (PERT) is safe and effective in people receiving palliative chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, and can significantly improve their quality of life.
I’m absolutely confident that research funded by Pancreatic Cancer UK will deliver the answers we desperately need to stop others losing their soulmates, as I have. But they need our support to get there.
Leaving a gift in my Will
Life will never be the same for me. But I’ve found some comfort in trying to help prevent others from facing this heartbreak by leaving a gift in my Will to Pancreatic Cancer UK.
After looking after my loved ones, I wanted to help Pancreatic Cancer UK too and, in return for the gift I’ve pledged, I have the sheer pleasure of knowing I’ll be contributing to the research that promises a brighter future.
For me and many others, a gift in my Will is more than I could afford to give in my lifetime, so it can make a really significant impact.
My hope is that the gift in my Will goes on to save others from suffering the way Gillian and David did – and prevents other families and couples from being torn apart by this terrible disease.
I hope you will consider remembering Pancreatic Cancer UK in your Will as I have. It’s gifts like yours that will spark the crucial breakthrough that we so desperately need.
Thank you for reading my story.
For more information about leaving a gift in your Will to Pancreatic Cancer UK, please visit: pancreaticcancer.org.uk/get-involved/leave-a-gift-in-your-will/