Lung cancer

Memorial Fund set up for oncologist who died of lung cancer at 40

Photo: GoFundMe

A fund to support cancer research has been set up in memory of NSW oncologist Dr Sharlyn Kang who died of lung cancer at the age of 40.

The Memorial Fund, which aims to raise $100,000 to support the continuation of her research into colorectal cancer at the Illawarra Cancer Care Centre, has been set up by her husband, Adrian Waters.

On his GoFundMe page he says Dr Kang was a staff specialist in radiation oncology at the centre and served the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District out of Wollongong Hospital and the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital.

Dr Kang, who had two daughters, was diagnosed with a stage 4 NSCLC in 2016, after which she underwent four major surgeries and received multiple chemotherapy combinations, multiple radiation treatments, trial drugs, immunotherapies and targeted therapies.

“Even while fighting cancer, she worked in colorectal cancer research and the outcome data she worked on has been the source for half a dozen papers reporting on treatment outcomes for the local area health district,” he writes.

Dr Kang was also a leader in the Exon 20 Group at the International Cancer Advocacy Network, who have named their program after her in honour of her contributions to the organisation and their community, he said.

Mr Waters said he set up a Gofundme page to raise funds for continuation and support of her cancer outcomes research within the area health district. It has already raised more than $56,000 that will also go towards supporting programs such as better coordination for cancer patients; development and implementation of protocols to support the collection of clean and accurate research data, and education and training for Radiation Therapy teams.  The fund will also pay for a memorial at the Illawarra Cancer Care Centre

“Shar had a number of causes that were important to her. They are related to things that she was proud of as an oncologist, or that really annoyed her as a patient during our fight with her cancer,” he said.

“I’d also like to raise awareness for the International Cancer Advocacy Network, who were incredibly helpful and supportive during Shar’s fight,” he added.

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