FOR AMANDA Smith, the loss of her husband David to pancreatic cancer in January simply cannot be in vain.
Since his diagnosis in 2012 the couple, together with friends, family, colleagues and the community in Knowle worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer and raised over £50,000 to fund surgery in Germany that was not available in the UK.
Amanda has continued to support local charities and organisations that helped the family as way of creating a meaningful legacy for David and keeping his memory very much alive.
She, alongside daughters Jessica and Molly, have presented four cheques, each for £688, from the donations made to the 37-year-old’s funeral to Pancreatic Cancer UK, Marie Curie, Macmillan and Knowle Parish Church, which helped the family both before and after David died.
Amanda said she cannnot thank the four organisations enough and their support has been – and continues to be – so important to the family.
She added: “I want to make sure that other people who find themselves in our situation can benefit from the same care and support.
“Our family, friends and the local community – particularly the parents and teachers at Knowle School have been wonderful.
“They have got enthusiastically involved in all of our fundraising events, including a ball that we held in October 2013 with David in attendance, which raised almost £10,000 in one night.”
“For me, a big part of keeping David’s memory alive is a determination to raise awareness of this devastating illness and ensure people spot the signs earlier.”
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer include abdominal pain, jaundice – the yellowing skin or eyes, unexplained weight loss and bowel problems.
Pancreatic Cancer UK advises that if someone has jaundice or any of the other symptoms for more then four weeks they should go to their GP without delay.
The family are now preparing to host another fundraising ball on September 18, around the time of David’s birthday, in a bid to get friends and family to come together to share stories, raise a glass and celebrate his life.