EVERY week, 63 Australians die from this type of cancer. On Easter Sunday this year, Michael Davies was one of them. Now his family are raising awareness of this disease.
His late wife Sue and their children Tegan, Tim and Phil are taking part in the Remember September challenge to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.
"Michael was a very private person about his health. A lot of people didn't know he was sick until after he died," Sue told The Senior.
"It was unexpected, he was due to come out of hospital the day he died," Sue said.
"His death was a shock but in a way it was a blessing because he didn't have to suffer the pain and loss of dignity that comes with pancreatic cancer."
Michael had been determined he was coming home. Six years prior, he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), a type of slow-growing leukaemia.
During a CT scan on his spleen as part of the CLL care, doctors found a small shadow on his pancreas and decided to remove the vast majority of the organ as it was precancerous. In November last year, Michael was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died 148 days after his diagnosis.
Every day in September, Sue is pledging to walk a 4km route that her husband used to walk to honour his memory.
"Mike wasn't a walker. He didn't believe in sport and believed it was something from the dark ages," Sue said.
But after his surgery six years ago, Michael took up walking the short route on the advice of his surgeon.
"He was very pleased with himself. He did it most days even in the rain and getting up early in summer to beat the heat."
Taking part in Remember September is a way to honour someone lost to pancreatic cancer, or stand with someone fighting this disease.
There are two ways to take part, giving up a vice such as choosing like caffeine or sugar, or walking 63km over the month.
Both challenges help fund PanKind, The Australian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation's life-saving pancreatic cancer research and improve survival rates for people fighting pancreatic cancer.
For more information or to donate visit www.rememberseptember.org.au