BIG JOURNEY: Cancer survivor Dan Kent will speak at a GI Cancer community forum in Brisbane.
BIG JOURNEY: Cancer survivor Dan Kent will speak at a GI Cancer community forum in Brisbane. Max Fleet BUNDAN

Bundy cancer survivor receives award

BUNDABERG resident and gastro-intestinal cancer survivor Dan Kent has been awarded the inaugural John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence in Australasian Gastro Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) Clinical Trials Research.

The award was presented to Mr Kent at the AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting held in Sydney earlier this month.

The award recognises a member of the AGITG who has made significant and outstanding leadership contributions to AGITG clinical trials research over a sustained period.

Mr Kent has been the chairman of the AGITG Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) since 2011 and a member of the inaugural CAP since it formed in 2008.

"As a consumer I was humbled and honoured to receive this prestigious award in honour of a man who has given so much to the AGITG over the years," Mr Kent said

He said the committee was useful for clinicians to understand the consumer side of things.

"I'm not a clinician, I'm just a volunteer, but you learn a bit of jargon over the years," he said.

Mr Kent said any trials proposed by the clinicians had to get past the CAP first.

"They have to write out their proposal in lay terms for us," he said.

"What they produce for us may be only two or three pages long while the real proposal might be 20 pages."

Mr Kent said he had been in several fields of research for a long time.

"There's nobody who hasn't benefited from medical research," he said.

Julie Marker, who nominated Mr Kent for the award, said in his role there was little kudos, no career path or likelihood of personal benefit, and many, many hours of work.

"For all the years Dan has been on the CAP he has continued with unwavering commitment, several times in the face of adversity, even while serious personal family health issues could have taken priority," she said.

She said his role in identifying and prioritising gaps in colorectal cancer trials research in Australia had been significant, culminating in a workshop in 2011 and as a co-author on a publication in 2012.

Ms Marker said he had ensured that the voice of those with rare GI cancers received the opportunity to be heard as much as more common cancer types.



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