Widower moved to help after losing beloved wife
THREE weeks on from losing his wife of 45 years, Nankin widower Trevor Caunt is spreading the word about the disease that took her away.
Before Maureen Caunt was diagnosed he knew “nothing” about pancreatic cancer but after being thrust into a world of the unknown he wants to help the odds of those fighting.
“We are really pushing awareness and raising as much money as we can,” Mr Caunt said.
Mrs Caunt was diagnosed in February 2017 and underwent three bouts of chemotherapy and several procedures before losing her battle on October 14.
The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is poor and Mr Caunt said his wife lived longer than most diagnosed.
“By the time you know about it, it’s too late,” he said.
Only 8.7 per cent of people with pancreatic cancer live longer than five years after their diagnosis.
By the time Mrs Caunt was diagnosed and underwent an operation, the disease had spread to her lungs, stomach, pancreas and small bowel.
Her daughter Lyndel Armstrong said hearing her mum’s diagnosis was like getting hit “with a sledge hammer” but Mrs Caunt remained composed despite having the odds stacked against her. “Mum made it easy because she was so strong and positive – the worst part was the last six weeks because she was weaker and was more disorientated,” Mrs Armstrong said.
Known for her friendly, bubbly personality, Mrs Caunt was a tourism ambassador for the past 20 years and she would have continued if her health allowed.
Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death, according to the Cancer Council.
Hearing of people dying within two weeks of their diagnosis breaks Mr Caunt’s heart and motivates him to help find a cure.
He has organised two fundraisers to keep his mind busy in the first month without having the caring woman who would “give anyone the shirt off their back”.
A morning tea will be held in honour of World Pancreatic Cancer Day at the Emu Park Country Women’s Association at 10am tomorrow followed by a memorial walk on Saturday.
Mr Caunt will lead walkers from the Emu Park Lions Club Shack on Hill St to the heritage trail.
Shirts, water bottles and hats will be available for purchase at the walk and all funds will go towards pancreatic cancer.