Bartosz Balczerski was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in 2019 just two weeks after welcoming his second son into the world.
Bartosz was a Scientist working on new breast cancer screening technology. After researching treatments available for him for his diagnosis he launched a fundraising campaign to pay for an immunotherapy treatment not yet approved on the NHS. He wanted to have the best chance of going into remission and spending more precious time with his young family. Friends, family, colleagues and strangers all came together and helped to raise the staggering £35,000 needed for the treatment. Sadly Bartosz became too unwell to pursue the treatment and died just six months after his diagnosis. Before his passing he made clear that he wanted the funds to be split between St Cuthbert’s Hospice and Pancreatic Cancer UK.
The staff at St Cuthbert’s provided outstanding care for Bartek and all of our family throughout his illness. It meant a great deal to us that the Hospice made it possible for Bartek to be with his family during his last days.
We are very grateful for this special donation which will enable us to care for so many more families who need us now and in the future. We contacted Bartosz’s wife Rebecca to ask if there was a day special to them that we may be able to honour him and let our supporters know about this wonderful gesture. Friday 5th February 2021 was chosen to mark Bartosz and Rebecca’s tenth wedding anniversary.
His wife Rebecca said: “The staff at St Cuthbert’s provided outstanding care for Bartek and all of our family throughout his illness. It meant a great deal to us that the Hospice made it possible for Bartek to be with his family during his last days. When I think that Bartek spent the last weeks of his life witnessing the fundraising efforts made on his behalf and reading all the wonderful messages of support there are no words that properly express the gratitude I feel. When I think ahead a few years to when our boys are able to ask for more information about their Daddy and his illness, it brings me a great deal of comfort to think that I will be able to tell them about the warmth and generosity of everyone who knew us, and the kindness of strangers. It gave Bartek purpose and hope for the future during the last months of his life. I sincerely believe that this carried him through some of the toughest times. His positivity and his strength was an inspiration to us all.”