Fundraiser to uphold legacy


Three years ago, the Cameron family received heart-breaking news.

Peter’s cancer was back and had been growing undetected for quite some time.

Sadly, they lost Peter in early September but have started a fundraiser in his memory and hope to donate $10,000 to the Medical Oncology Clinical Trials Unit at the Calvary Mater Hospital Newcastle.

Peter was diagnosed with Unresectable Non-Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma, a rare form of kidney cancer, three decades ago and endured his first surgery to remove the original cancer and a kidney.

However, it was undetected and grew for the next 28 years.

Dietary issues and a trip to the doctors eventually uncovered a large tumour that had spread to his spine.

Peter underwent radiation and surgery, which proved unsuccessful, leaving him with six months to live.

However, the discovery of a clinical trial managed to save his life for another 18 months.

The immunotherapy clinical trial involved fortnightly blood tests, a check-up with the doctor, and then an infusion if all was well.

“His only real option was the clinical trial,” daughter Megan Baird said. 

“At the time, the trial wasn’t even something we were aware of.

“He was one of the longest surviving participants.  

“It gave him and us quality of life; his body didn’t have to fight as hard.”

The Medical Oncology Clinical Trial Unit is self-funded and provides cancer patients within Newcastle and the Hunter Valley with opportunities for the latest clinical trials.

Ms Baird said the fundraiser was the family’s way to give back, while also raising awareness of the trials.

“It was an amazing gift they gave us – to have more time with him,” she said.

“We are really fortunate for that extra time.

“[Dad’s] legacy will create more awareness for trials like this.”

Ms Baird added that “it’s been good to push energy into something that is going to make a difference”.

If the $10,000 target is met, she plans to shave her head so, when people ask her about why she is bald, it will allow her to talk about her father and the trails.

Before Peter died, he and his wife Catherine discussed matching whatever is raised to bring the total donation up to $20,000.

Search Remembering Pete – Oncology Clinical Trials Unit at if you would like to donate.

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