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Otherwise fit and healthy Valerie Davis was diagnosed with lung cancer in October 2018 after being tested for a cough that wouldn’t go away.


“It’s been, I suppose, one of the darkest times of my life that I can recall. Being given a timeline is extremely confronting”. – Valerie Davis.  

“One of the worst things I’ve had to do as a parent was sharing my prognosis with my son. You know, what do you say? He just sobbed.

My friends and family were there for me, but I couldn’t talk to them much. It’s really something that you have to deal with yourself. I could barely sleep for the first few weeks after my diagnosis.

Valerie Davis
Valerie Davis

“But life does go on, even with cancer. The bills still come in, there are things to do around the house, and you have to keep going on, even with your diagnosis.”

Fortunately, Valerie was able to take part in an immunotherapy clinical trial at St John of God Murdoch Hospital, to which she has responded positively.

“I’m one of four in WA, one of 19 in Australia, and 770 worldwide. It’s extraordinary.”

Valerie began treatment in November 2018, and after six weeks her first check-up scan showed her tumour was shrinking.

Amazingly, after six months of treatment, Valerie’s tumour had shrunk by 70%.

“I really feel extremely fortunate. My results have shown that my lymph nodes have all gone back to normal size, and the main tumour is shrinking.

“It’s expected my tumour will shrink away to nothing, meaning no surgery will be required, and I’ll just be left with is a bit of scarring on my lungs. I can’t believe it.

The whole process gives you so much faith. From the staff, to the treatment, to the kindness of strangers, and the incredible support of your loved ones. I’m so grateful to live in this place where we have all of these amazing medications. I think we have some of the best doctors and researchers here.

Valerie Davis

Generous donations to the Foundation supported St John of God Murdoch Hospital to establish a clinical trials unit. Because of this support, people like Valerie are able to access the best treatment options.

The Foundation is committed to raising funds to support leading medical research and personalised patient treatment, with care provided by St John of God hospitals, to provide life-changing care for people like Valerie. 

Your gift can change a life.