Laura Huysmans

In memory of Hendrik and Lorella

Total raised


+ £38.75 Gift Aid


Cardiff Pretty Muddy 5k 2018

Silvia and Laura are taking on a Race for Life Pretty Muddy to raise money to beat cancer sooner

In memory of

Lorella and Hendrik

My Story

Hi all, As some of you may know, we ran Pretty Muddy last year with our friend Chantelle. When we got there to register and receive our race number, the volunteers offered us a pen so we could write down who we were running for. We looked at each other, not really knowing what to write. We had indeed been fortunate enough to never have lost anyone to cancer. Less than a year later, two of our very best friends have had to deal with unbearable losses. We’d like to ask you to take a couple of minutes to read about Hendrik and Lorella and donate what you can. Hendrik Roelofse 1952 – 2018 Hennie was diagnosed with stage-3 pancreatic cancer in October 2017, a month after his daughter Chantelle (pictured below) ran for life and Cancer Research at the 2017 edition of Pretty Muddy. Because pancreatic cancer often grows and spreads long before it causes any symptoms, only about 20% of pancreatic cancer cases can be operated on. Of those 20%, the life expectancy is statistically between 18 months and 5 years, with an average of 2 years from the date of the operation. In Hennie’s case, it had already spread to the lymph nodes. He underwent a Whipple procedure to remove the tumor and then went through a combination of chemo- and radiation therapy for 6 weeks. The treatment appeared to have been working well until the doctors broke the news in May 2018. The cancer had come back, only 3 months after the end of the combination therapy. It now appears that the cancer came back while Hennie was still undergoing treatment. Very aggressive, it had spread to the liver, lungs, around the stomach and to what was left of the pancreas. While he was very lucky to have had the opportunity to be operated on, Hennie was a statistical anomaly, with the surgery only giving him an extra 8 months to live. After exceeding all expectations while in palliative care, impressing us all and doing his family proud with his strength and spirit, Hennie sadly lost his battle on 8 July 2018. Lorella Marchesini 1966 - 2018 Lorella’s story began 3 years ago, when she first got diagnosed with breast cancer. Back then, the cancer had already metastasised to the liver and the lymph nodes under the armpit. Lorella first underwent chemotherapy to reduce the size of the cancer, followed by a mastectomy. She then continued with different treatments, including new experimental therapies which comprised novel immunotherapy. After several check-ups where it appeared that the cancer had slowly regressed, the cancer on the liver unfortunately came back a few months ago, more aggressively than ever. The potential of further therapies was being discussed but the cancer did not wait and started to metastasise very quickly. Sadly, Lorella lost her battle to breast cancer on 4 June, after fighting it with all of her energy. As her family said at her funeral, she fought the illness as if it was nothing but a cold. Lorella was very strong and positive when facing the disease and she often told Silvia how proud she was of her doing research on breast cancer. In fact, breast cancer is still the most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst women, and still one of the main cause of death in women, both in developing and developed countries, regardless of the improvement in early diagnosis. What Lorella has taught us is that a lot still needs to be done to fight this. Research is therefore essential in helping us eradicate one of the biggest burden of the last centuries. On 8 September, we will be celebrating Lorella and Hendrick’s life and legacy. We will be running for them, hoping they watch us and laugh when they see us fall face first in the mud. Cancer cuts short the life of 164,000 people every year – that’s 450 every day. Please give what you can, no matter how small, to make sure that none of our family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours… ever has to watch a loved one being taken away from them by this awful disease. We love you and thank you in advance xx Silvia and Laura


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Total raised£265.00

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