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Fiorina’s story

Fiorina had a wish, and that was to help people like herself.

Fiorina first visited the Royal Free Hospital in September 2008 following a discovery of a growth in her pancreas that was found to be engulfing her main vein. That’s when she first met Mr Fusai, one of the few specialist surgeons who deals with cases like Fiorina’s. Through consultations with Mr Fusai, Fiorina decided to undergo the Whipple procedure with vascular reconstruction. The tumour was successfully removed and her recovery was inspiring. However, unknown to us all, the cancer had moved to her liver.

Fiorina underwent a series of Chemotherapy treatments but in September 2009, nearly a year after diagnose, Fiorina lost her battle with Pancreatic Cancer.

As a family, we wanted to honour Fiorina – her life, her ways and her wishes. Our story is not unfamiliar, others like ourselves are realising the lack of fundraising, support and research relating to Pancreatic Cancer.

Even while Fiorina was undergoing treatment and through her subsequent passing we started raising money to donate to charity. At first principally from friends and family who knew only too well the devastating effects of pancreatic cancer, we realised how underfunded this area of research is. We wanted to acknowledge the immense commitment and loving care we received from Mr Fusai and his wonderful team.

Fiorina was one of those unique and special people who made a real difference and touched so many people. Everyone who met her or spent time in her company be it for an hour, day or for years will say they are better for knowing her and feel privileged that she crossed their path. It is comforting for me and my family, and we feel so humbled yet pleased to know she is so loved and remembered.

We wanted to do more for pancreatic cancer patients, it was Fiorina’s wish that if she survived this illness, she would have asked if she could of helped in anyway. People felt sanctuary in Fiorina’s presence and she wanted to offer this natural ability and experience with pancreatic cancer to help others like herself. Near to Christmas we wrote to the Consultants involved in Fiorina’s case asking if there was anything we could do for other families affected by pancreatic cancer. Coming as no surprise to us, Fiorina had inspired Mr Fusai and our letter instigated a series of events which has led to the creation of the Fiorina fund.

It’s now our job to raise awareness of the Fiorina fund, and for us to follow Fiorina’s wish, to help other people. Through fundraising events and the inspiration that so many people felt by Fiorina, we will help raise money to assist the Royal Free Hospital in its vital work, and hope you will too.

Thank you for taking the time to read our story.

If you would like to get involved please see our list of forthcoming events or make donations for the Fiorina Fund.

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