Charlestown's Megan Baird says that due to her father's participation in a cancer trial at Calvary Mater Hospital he and his family were able to spend a very special 18 months together. Time they otherwise may not have had.
"There was a Christmas we wouldn't have had together and two grandchildren were born that year to my sister [Lisa] and brother [Chris]," Mrs Baird said.
Before he passed away in early September at the age of 65, Mrs Baird's father Peter Cameron told his family he wanted to donate $10,000 to the hospital's self-funded oncology clinical trial team.
Mrs Baird and her two siblings are trying to raise $10,000 to match the donation of their dad and mum, Cathy Cameron, of Swansea, with Mrs Baird pledging to shave her hair off for the fundraiser in early December.
"The only way new drugs get to be marketed is by patients doing trials. It's so important and the only way we move forward with new innovations. It's an incredible thing," Mrs Baird said.
Mr Cameron was told he had six months to live a little over a year-and-a-half ago. A rare form of renal cancer had returned to Mr Cameron's body after he had a kidney removed three decades prior.
"He was getting a bit unwell, there was dietary issues and pain. Then they realised the cancer was back," his daughter said.
"The tumour was really large and spreading into his spine. It had just filled the hole left behind by his kidney," she said.
Mr Cameron underwent radiation therapy, which was able to stem the growth of some parts of the cancer, however, in surgery doctors were unable to remove a remaining portion that was continuing to grow.
"At that point he was really sleepy, the tumour was starting to ravage him and there really was no other option other than starting the trial," Mrs Baird said.
"All the doctors were thanking him for doing it, and he was like, 'No, thank you for giving me a crack.'"
Mr Cameron underwent immunotherapy, which required him to visit the hospital fortnightly for treatment. Mrs Baird said the impact of the therapy was overt.
"For that six days after the treatment he was really quite healthy," she said.
"He slept better and had a lot less pain and was mentally alert.
"He was able to take a chair to the beach and watch the kids play."
Mr Cameron lived another 18 months after beginning the trial. He spent the majority of that time at home with his family.
"The most important thing was that it gave him a real quality of life," Mrs Baird said.
The "Remembering Pete" fundraising page is online on GoFundMe.
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