Six years, three deaths and a trio of funerals on the other side of the world. When Andy Kirk lost his mother, father and brother to pancreatic cancer he was left ''shocked''.
The 49-year-old remembers flying home to Britain to bury his loved ones and the toll the deadly disease took on his family.
Sitting at his kitchen table, in a white T-shirt with a picture of his eldest brother Rob on his sleeve, he hopes to raise awareness and money to help others.
Last year he ran the Auckland Marathon in memory of Rob and his parents. That effort raised funds for the Gut Cancer Foundation and in January Andy will hit the streets again. This time around he will pay tribute to his mum June.
Andy says pancreatic cancer could run genetically and the risk of getting it increases with age.
He has regular MRI scans for "peace of mind" and keeps fit and healthy by running.
"Hopefully I'm doing all I can to prevent it so I can't really do anything else. Normally by the [time] you catch it, it is too late.
"The earlier you can catch it, the more chance you have of surviving."
Andy prefers to stay positive and upbeat.
"If I worried about it, well life's not worth living."
His mother June was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012, his father Geoff in 2017 and his oldest brother Rob in 2018.
All died about four months after being diagnosed.
"There wasn't even a chance of surgery for my mum ... and she couldn't eat.''
His father had stomach pains which "alerted" him that something was wrong. He went to the doctor but because he ''looked a bit yellow'' he was advised to go to the hospital.
"He didn't even know he had cancer".
Andy said Rob's diagnosis hit him hard. I was ''shocked" because he was "quite young" and I thought he could have had surgery.
But then he was told the cancer had "wrapped itself around a major artery" and it was too dangerous to get rid of it.
June was 69 when she died, Geoff was 75, and Rob was 51.
Gut Cancer Foundation executive officer Liam Willis said the only cure for pancreatic cancer was surgery and about 85 per cent of pancreas cancer patients were diagnosed too late.
"It's so important that we find new ways of extending life for this group of patients and give a better quality of life because cancer research and cancer treatment is not just about cure - it's about giving people a longer and better life as well."
A new clinical trial called ASCEND would start next year and run for 24 months. The trial was for patients who had been diagnosed too late for surgery, in the hope of extending their lives and giving them "a better quality of life".
The trial involved the CEND-1 drug which would try to "help chemotherapy penetrate the cancer tumour".
"That's what we're trying to work out with this trial - will this drug help us penetrate the cancer tumour and get the chemo working better than it is currently?"
A grant of $81,000 from the foundation would go towards the trial, which had come from donations raised by the community and "generous New Zealanders".
The trial had been initiated by a group based out of Australia, which had calculated costs per patient based on treatment in Australia, he said.
"When you transfer that over to New Zealand, there's a deficit."
This was because New Zealand hospitals did not invest as much in clinical trials compared to Australia, he said.
Willis said there was a shortfall of about $4000 per patient that hospitals needed to give New Zealanders access to the trial.
Clinicians who were interested in the trial put forward a proposal to the foundation, and the foundation used fundraiser money to meet that $4000 gap.
Willis said pancreatic cancer had the "worst outcomes" out of all cancers, with the "worst five-year survival rate".
This meant that only 12 per cent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer were expected to live beyond five years.
"The only way we improve that is through funding research and trials."
Medical oncologist, senior lecturer at Otago University and Gut Cancer Foundation scientific advisory committee member Dr Sharon Pattison says pancreatic cancer is "not so responsive" to chemotherapy.
"Unfortunately because of where the pancreas is, quite often it doesn't really have very many symptoms until its spread or advanced to the stage where surgery's not possible.
"So most people present when they can't be cured.
"What the ASCEND trial is looking at is a medicine called CEND-1 that is hopefully going to be able to allow the chemotherapy to get in a little bit better ... and therefore hopefully get a better response."
She is "really quite excited" about the trial because New Zealand did not have the same treatment options as other countries had for pancreatic cancer.
Pattison says symptoms could be "quite vague" such as jaundice, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss and "a little bit of abdominal pain".
She says if the cancer was found early enough, it could be cured "in a small number of cases".
Andy's parents visited him in New Zealand before they died.
"They made it across once in 2010 because when I first said I was going for a second time, they're like 'why?'"
"And then they came across and my mum did say to me, 'yeah I can see why'.
"My mum was hoping if she did get better, they were going to come across for a second time, but unfortunately it never happened."
Andy described his parents and brother as "fun-loving" and says sharing his story was "part of the curing process".
* Andy is trying to fundraise $1000 for the Gut Cancer Foundation by running the Auckland Marathon in January. Donations can be made here.