Woman turns tragedy to hope, donates $50,000 to UH Cancer Center

KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In 2009, after 16 years of marriage Alison Brown-Carvalho's husband, William Brown, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. About four years later, Brown-Carvalho's mother, Janet Shitabata, also succumbed to the fatal disease, in the form of stomach cancer. Following these devastating events, Brown-Carvalho made a career change and joined the University of Hawaii Foundation in the Development Office, specifically at the UH Cancer Center; her goal, eradicate cancer. Thanks to her tireless efforts and the generous donations of family members, Brown-Carvalho raised $50,000 dollars, all of which she donated to the UH Cancer Center. The funds from the donation will be used for research in finding a cure and improving early detection of pancreatic cancer, the disease which took her husband's life. Brown-Carvalho is overjoyed to know her hard work will help others avoid the sadness she endured. "It is so rewarding to know our family donation for this research could possibly make a huge impact on improving the detection of pancreatic cancer" Brown-Carvalho said. Not only is Alison Brown-Carvalho's donation appreciated but now her husband and mother's fight against cancer will not be forgotten. Part of the donation includes a memorial to the loved ones Brown-Carvalho lost. A concrete marker with William and Janet's names was installed on the grounds of the Cancer Center in Kakaako. The marker "commemorates their lives and reminds the world of the emotional costs of cancer." Dr. Wei Jia PhD, the director of the Cancer Center's Shared Resource Program, says the donation is invaluable in helping families cope and deal with this deadly disease. "Without the donation we would have to stop and try to get a grant," Jia said. "The greatest issue for pancreatic cancer is that it has a poor survival rate. Once the person is diagnosed they are usually in the late stage. It is a very aggressive disease, it develops fast. Early detection helps the patient prognosis improve."

Share your thoughts here...