Terence’s story

“My hope is that the gift in my Will goes on to save others from suffering the way Gillian and David did – and prevent other families and couples from being torn apart by this terrible disease.”


Pancreatic cancer took away the two people I loved the most. I know that if you have lived through a similar devastating experience, you will understand the shattering impact it has.

Life will never be the same for me but I have found some comfort from trying to help prevent others from facing this heartbreak through leaving a gift in my Will to Pancreatic Cancer UK, as well as looking after my loved ones.

My sister Gillian was only 66 when she died from pancreatic cancer in 2012. We had a truly extraordinary relationship and even though she’s no longer here, I still speak to her every day.

Gillian died just three days after her diagnosis and I don’t know how I would have coped without my partner David by my side.

David and I met at university in 1956 when he knocked on my door and asked if I’d join a student demonstration. That was the start of bond that would last for 62 years.

David and I both became teachers. David returned to teach at the grammar school where he’d been a pupil – and stayed for 32 years. I taught with him for a number of years, but ended my career as Head of Special Needs at a college of further education.

After we retired in the early 1990s, we spent every single day together for 30 wonderful years. In February 2006, when it was David’s 70th birthday, we became civil partners, finally celebrating becoming lawful after 50 years together.

In January 2019 David was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Time seemed to stand still when we heard the consultant’s words. It was Gillian all over again.

The weeks following David’s diagnosis were the worst of my life. Everything that could go wrong did, including him fainting on a hot, crowded train after a harrowing hospital appointment.

Terence and David

Although David was eligible for surgery, he never made it as far as the operation. He died three weeks after he was admitted to our local hospital for a preliminary procedure.

Nearly 50% of people die within 3 months of their diagnosis. For some, like Gillian and David, it’s just days, or weeks.

With David gone, I felt helpless and adrift. Then, looking through some of the leaflets the hospital had given me I read about Pancreatic Cancer UK. The more I learned about their research, the more hopeful I felt about the future.

Researchers funded by Pancreatic Cancer UK are getting closer to finding the answers that will protect us from this ruthless killer. You can help them make that life-saving breakthrough by remembering Pancreatic Cancer UK, as well as your nearest and dearest, in your Will.

A research project which was made possible thanks to people who left gifts in their Wills, has recently made an incredible breakthrough. They’ve discovered a protein which promises to kill pancreatic cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue. It really looks as though an effective treatment is on the horizon. 

I’m absolutely confident that research funded by Pancreatic Cancer UK will deliver the answers we desperately need to stop others losing their soulmates, as I have. But they need our support to get there.

For many of us, a gift in our Will is more than we could afford to give in our lifetime, so it can make a really significant impact.

Terence who is a gift in Will supporter

After looking after my loved ones, I wanted to help Pancreatic Cancer UK too and, in return for the gift I’ve pledged, I have the sheer pleasure of knowing I’ll be contributing to the research that promises a brighter future.

At David’s funeral service I spoke directly to him. “David, I don’t know where you’ve gone but eventually, I promise I will find you. When you left, you took half of me with you, but you left half of yourself here on earth with me.” We became as one over the years we were together and it’s my firm conviction that we’ll be reunited.

Until then, I will do what I can to help create a future where lives are no longer devastated by this disease.

I hope you will consider remembering Pancreatic Cancer UK in your Will as I have. It’s gifts like yours that will spark the crucial breakthrough that we so desperately need. Thank you for reading my story.

I’d like more information

I’d like to write my will for free

I have, or intend, to leave a gift in my Will

Any questions?

If you need any more information, or would like to speak to someone about this special way of giving, please contact Clare Norman.

Email: legacies@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

Telephone: 0777 361 8166