Australian Pancreatic Cancer Alliance

Personal stories

Karen's Story

Dave Grant was a father of three to Marieke, Madeleine and Spencer. He was also one of Australia's best live stand-up comics. A funny man. He had a reputation as the fittest man in comedy. Throughout his career Dave had promoted men's health, wellbeing and positivity through his comedy. Dave ran everyday on the beach, he went to the gym 4 times a week.

In April 2009 he was 50 years old when he sought diagnosis from his GP after suffering DVT's in his leg. Dave wasn't too concerned. He flew a lot around the country entertaining and making people laugh. After all, they called it ‘economy class syndrome’, didn't they? Dave was admitted for tests immediately.

Dave Grant Easter 2009 was a grim time. Dave was diagnosed with a tumour on the head of his pancreas – considered inoperable. Devastation followed. How do you explain to your 9-year old son and 13-year old daughter that their dad has a 5% chance of survival? It was like your worst nightmare and then some. There was no more laughter. The out pouring of love and support by Dave's beloved comedy fraternity was immense. They performed around the country to raise money to keep our family afloat.

Dave never coped with his diagnosis. His mind had so many questions that could just never be answered. His pain and suffering was vast. Our children had to watch every day as their father grew weak and skeletal. There was no hiding from pancreatic cancer. Dave passed 10 months later in January 2010, two days after his 52 birthday. The suffering for our family didn't end there. The grief and loss felt by our children has been so extensive, four years on they still don't understand. Why him? Neither do I.

Will you help us to understand the causes of pancreatic cancer? Please support the amazing work of The Garvan Institute in unlocking the secrets of this horrific disease. If it can strike down a seemingly fit middle aged man, it could strike down anyone.