GEOFF’S STORY

Dr Geoff Gibbs PhD, AM, was a prominent WA leader in Arts and Education. He was also a gifted actor and theatre director. But most of all, he was a husband, father, grandfather, friend and mentor.

Because of advances in medicine Geoff survived a cancer that claims 95% of the people who are diagnosed with it. Sadly, seven years later his life was taken by melanoma. And because of medical research, if he’d have been diagnosed today, his chances of survival would have been so much better. Read his story below.

A LIFE IN PICTURES

My father was larger than life. He was a force of nature. He a teacher, a colleague, a neighbor, a friend, an advocate…but to us, he was dad. It was 1998 when Dad was first diagnosed with cancer. We were devastated. As a kid you believe your dad is invincible. He will be there looking after us forever. And then we were told he had bowel cancer.

Dad celebrating his extra years

Dad’s fight with cancer was a long, epic battle that started in 1998 and ended in 2006. The first time, he beat bowel and liver cancer and survived for another seven years, cancer free. Seven extra years of life, and boy did he embrace them!

TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A TRIP OF A LIFETIME

After getting the all clear from bowel and liver cancer, Dad took mum and a group of friends overseas. He called the trip Around the World in Eighty Plays. He booked tickets to the theatre and opera and was most proud of seeing one of his ex-students on Broadway. You might recognise him?

Dad’s extra seven years were a gift

In 2006, Dad got the terrible news that he had a stage four melanoma. From diagnosis to death, it was six weeks. We were heartbroken. But looking back on it now, Dad’s extra seven years were a gift. He got to see his son get married, the birth of two of his three grandchildren, he received an Order of Australia and most of all –he lived!

Paige, Geoff’s daughter

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