Jim Vass – Trekking the Kokoda for Pancreatic Cancer

Our Goal
Our aim is to raise $1,000,000 that will go to the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

In order for us to achieve this, we will be seeking the support of Corporate Australia and the community in general. We know that the physical challenge is the easy part of our project and the real challenge will be getting community engagement and real buy in to our project in a very short period of time. However, when looking at our challenge in the context of someone being told that they have Pancreatic Cancer and that the odds of survival past 12 months are less than 5%, our problem is small by comparison.


Our Beneficiary

Our first step was to identify an organisation to receive these funds, the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation was chosen, as they are working hard on this problem, albeit with limited resources.


Our Ambassador

We sought out a suitable ambassador for the physical challenge and are proud to announce that the proud Australian and best selling author Mr Peter FitzSimons has come on board. There is no better authority on the Kokoda Campaign than Peter who’s book KOKODA captures the difficult and challenging conditions that the Australian soldiers faced in the war against the JapaneseArmy. Peter FitzSimons A quote regarding Peter’s “Kokoda” book sums up perfectly what the “Wish You Were Here” team are striving for; “The Australian troops were wounded and exhausted beyond belief, but always found that extra bit of spirit to fight on, with the help of the local people.”

As 2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Kokoda Trail campaign we can’t think of a better person to help with the “Wish You Were Here” fundraiser.


Our Inspiration

Peter Grima

In 2016 a very much loved and larger than life man, Peter Grima, lost his battle to Pancreatic Cancer. To honour this amazing man, a team of seven of his closest mates banded together and formed the “Wish You Were Here” team. They were then joined by an eighth man, who himself is a cancer survivor and is currently supporting a close friend and relative undertaking treatment for Pancreatic Cancer. This team of eight have set themselves one of the most gruelling and emotional challenges, to walk the Kokoda Trail in memory of Peter.

The “Wish You Were Here” team wanted to set themselves a task that was symbolic of the physical and psychological challenges faced by cancer patients from the initial diagnosis and throughout the treatment. Walking the Kokoda Trail was the perfect fit as it needs courage, endurance and tenacity to make the 96km journey to the Kokoda village. They will set off on their trek on the 2nd September. The team members are all parents, husbands and business owners and believe they represent the vast majority of Australians who have all been touched by Cancer. The loss of their close friend has left them feeling angry, frustrated and determined to take positive action. The aim of the trek is to increase community awareness and raise much needed funds for research into Pancreatic Cancer.


Gala Dinner

Following our return from walking the 96 km through the jungle and climbing the 2200m in elevation through the Owen Stanley Range of Papua New Guinea, we are planning on holding a gala dinner to acknowledge our supporters and to give all stakeholders of this project a forum to interact and to celebrate the lives of friends lost.


Sponsor: https://wishyouwerehere2017.gofundraise.com.au/cms/donate

Gala Dinner Tickets: https://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/wish-you-were-here-gala-dinner