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Family’s sad losses inspire bequest

Diane Openshaw wishes “to assist all diagnosed with cancer and those people who love them and suffer with them”.

Diane Openshaw has watched four family members be diagnosed with cancer, sadly losing all of them. It was the passing of her youngest brother that rst encouraged Diane to support Cancer Council NSW’s fundraising appeals – something she has been doing ever since. The research she has supported has made signi cant advances, which she believes allowed her to have extra time with her oldest brother, who sadly went through his own cancer journey. Now she wishes to help others in similar situations by leaving money in her will to Cancer Council NSW.

Nearly 40 years ago, Diane’s youngest brother, Colin, 41 at the time, was diagnosed with cancer – prompting her to support the work of Cancer Council NSW. His diagnosis revealed that stomach and oesophageal cancers had spread to many parts of his body. Colin’s cancer journey was short. He was given only 14 days to live from the day of diagnosis. Stomach and oesophageal cancers can often grow for years before being detected, as in Colin’s case. For Diane, the whole thing felt extremely quick – they had very little time to sort out documents and family matters before he passed away.

Some 14 years later, Diane’s oldest brother, Clive was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. However, cancer research that had progressed within this time, allowing his life to be extended for
a small but cherished time. Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer
in men. Early stages of the cancer rarely cause symptoms, in fact, symptoms may go unnoticed until the cancer is large enough to affect nearby organs. However, Clive had detected his cancer with enough time to undergo treatment, leading him into remission. Diane was comforted by knowing he was in the hands of very good doctors and caring nurses. Unfortunately, after some time, the cancer came back. This time, the chemotherapy was not as successful; he suffered more side effects, and soon after passed away. Diane later lost two sisters-in-law to cancer.

In 2007, Diane generously decided to leave a gift in her will to Cancer Council NSW
“to assist all diagnosed with cancer and those people who love them and suffer with them”. Diane understands that such a gift – no matter how big or small – is worth giving, and it will help “lead to better survival rates and quality of life for those with cancer”.

If you would like to contact Cancer Council NSW to discuss how you can leave a gift in your will please call Caroline Lord

About the author

Alana Lowes

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