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Corey fought to the end

Wednesday, 26th March, 2014

Corey Hawes with wife Katrina last year. His parents have thanked the public for its support while their son battled cancer. Corey Hawes with wife Katrina last year. His parents have thanked the public for its support while their son battled cancer.

By Andrew Robertson

The parents of former local man Corey Hawes, whose battle with cancer produced an outpouring of public support, have spoken about their son’s brave fight to the end.

When Corey was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of liver cancer in late 2012, the 34-year-old was determined to beat the disease.

The married father of two young children tried alternative treatments before eventually seeking out a new form of chemotherapy in Germany.

After good initial results from the treatment, his condition suddenly deteriorated and he lost his battle on December 14 last year.

His parents Robert and Michelle Hawes said that during his fight their son had received a tremendous amount of support from many people.

“To all of Corey’s followers and supporters who were with him all through his fight with cancer, you deserve and need to know how he lost his fight,” the couple said in a letter.

The treatment Corey had been receiving in Germany, at the Hallwang Oncology Clinic, had been working, they said.

Six tumours on Corey’s liver had reduced in size, there were no new growths and there was a lot of necrosis, or dead cancer cells.

When he spoke to the BDT in August last year after returning from Germany, Corey said it was the best he had felt in 12 months.

Robert and Michelle said his rapid decline came from the development of malignant ascites, which causes a continuous build-up of fluid in the stomach.  

The eventual result is the loss of kidney function and cancer cells forming in the stomach, with the lymph nodes also being affected.

“Ascites also cause the body to reject all fluids and food, the result of which is the malnutrition and dehydration leading to kidney failure and the end result is quick, as happened to Corey,” they said.

The couple said their son’s death had left a hole in their hearts that would never be filled.

“To sit with your loved ones throughout the day and night, and watch as they waste away in front of our eyes was truly heart wrenching.

“No parent should have to endure what we, and other parents, had to go through.

“Our son’s death was terrible and the vision will remain with us forever; we have a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.”

Corey’s determination to fight the disease continued right up until the very end, the couple said.

“Corey’s strength and willpower was awesome to see, even up to the night of his passing, his words will stick in my mind forever - ‘I won’t give in.’”

To help fund his treatment and travel costs a number of fundraisers were held in Broken Hill and Newcastle, where Corey lived with his wife Katrina and children Riley and Maddison.

“Thanks to everyone who followed his journey and a special thanks to the girls in the front office of the BDT who helped tremendously in fundraising. We love you for it,” the Hawes said.

“Special thanks also to Bronte Steele and Heather Attard for their fundraising efforts; we are eternally grateful.”

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