Jan Philpott was told she'd need a miracle to survive pancreatic cancer, and her husband of 55 years Graeme searched high and low for that miracle.
Sadly Mrs Philpott's battle ended less than two years after she was diagnosed, in March 2018, yet Mr Philpott is still looking for answers.
In lieu of flowers at his wife's funeral, he asked for people to donate to the pancreatic cancer research at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and donated $5000 to the cause himself.
And he's still sharing his story to raise awareness and push for additional funding for IHMRI's ongoing research.
"Jan went to the doctors one morning with a pain underneath her ribs," Mr Philpott, a Shoalhaven Heads resident, said.
"A blood test was taken and she was called back for a CT scan later that day - that night we knew she had pancreatic cancer.
"We knew it could be a death sentence and a specialist later told us she'd need a miracle to survive - so I started to search for one."
Mr Philpott looked at the national and international research on pancreatic cancer, before discovering that a local team of researchers were making some progress.
"IHMRI researchers are working towards uncovering better treatments for pancreatic cancer - to provide people like Jan with a better quality of life," he said.
"But it is a cancer that seems to get neglected in terms of funding so I'll do everything in my power to advocate for funding so that this vital research can be taken to the next stage.
"It can't help Jan now, but she was wonderfully cared for by the staff at the Shoalhaven Cancer Care Centre, and David Berry Hospital, and I'm forever thankful for that."
Last week, IHMRI hosted a pancreatic cancer workshop - to increase collaboration between researchers across the nation.
"The collaborations arising from the workshop will yield deeper insight into pancreatic cancer and will ultimately support the discovery of new drugs that can revolutionise the way we treat this deadly disease," IHMRI researcher Dr Ben Buckley said.
The Illawarra research team is looking for potential drug treatments for cancer cells that are secondary to the main tumour.
These metastasised cells are the most likely cause of death because surgery can most often remove the tumour.
"New drug candidates show positive results (as they are) inhibitors of an enzyme, uPA, that is used by pancreatic cells to spread through the body," Dr Buckley said.
"By inhibiting uPA these candidates may be able to halt the deadly metastasis observed in pancreatic cancer patients."
IHMRI researchers, including Professor Marie Ranson and Associate Professor Michael Kelso, are also working to identify drugs that help with common side effects of treatment.
"The group have also recently discovered new drug candidates that could be used to treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) - a common side-effect of chemo drugs that significantly impacts the quality of life of cancer patients."
Dr Buckley said the prognosis was not good for pancreatic cancer patients, with a less than 10 per cent survival rate five years after diagnosis.
"There's been very modest improvements in prognosis over the last 20 years," he said.
"It's very hard to treat due to late detection, and few effective treatment options. Patients often die within a few months following diagnosis."
Mr Philpott, his four children, 10 grandchildren and three great-granchildren - treasured the precious time they got with Mrs Philpott.
"She loved life, she loved her family - and they loved her," he said. "She was sweet, just beautiful.
"Pancreatic cancer is a silent killer - she didn't have any warning before she was diagnosed and then it was too late.
"That's why there needs to be more awareness, and more funding for research."