Harris van Beek, our beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and son lost his life to pancreatic cancer at the age of 65, just six months after diagnosis.
Harris encountered this disease the same way he lived his life: with courage, grace, curiosity, reflection, good humour, unwavering hope and generosity.
Harris was an advocate for change; he was our moral compass and he leaves the world a better place.
As he realised how little is understood about pancreatic cancer, Harris hoped his death, like his life, could be a catalyst for change: to raise much-needed awareness and funds for research into causes and treatments of this terrible disease.
Pancreatic cancer remains a difficult disease to treat, with unacceptably poor outcomes. The five-year survival for people living with pancreatic cancer is just 7% and it is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in Australia. There has been little improvement in treatment for decades.
We know that the answer to improving this situation is through deliberate and dedicated medical research into the disease.
The University of Sydney is carrying out much needed pancreatic cancer research to help improve outcomes for patients. This includes research into immunotherapy to see how we can harness the body’s own immune system to kill pancreatic cancer cells and discovering new biomarkers so that we can detect the disease sooner.
We ask, in memory of Harris, that you join us to give hope to other people living with the disease and their families. We are so proud that his death will give life to others by contributing to research that will change outcomes for people with pancreatic cancer.
*All donations greater than $2 are tax deductible.