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Brent Shanks - A good guy - Help him beat Cancer

Cause page created in the Health category by Heidi Tapper for Brent and Tracey Shanks

$11,810 of $100,000 goal

Given by 128 generous donors in 6 weeks

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Help Brent Shanks and his family raise $100,000 for immunotherapy treatment to beat his rare cancer squamous cell carcinoma.

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  Nelson / Tasman

Tracey, Brent, Hannah and Emily, a loving family who lived a normal kiwi life. The girls are involved in dance and sport with Tracey coaching netball and Brent a keen Mountain biker. In June 2018 Brent was diagnosed with a very rare cancer, squamous cell carcinoma there are less than 6 recorded incidences in NZ per year. In the past 10 months, Brent has undergone 4 rounds of chemo, 33 rounds of radiotherapy and 4 surgeries. It has been a painful 10 months which has been dealt with by Brent and Tracey with amazing strength. Most recently Brent has undergone a lung and leg (lymph nodes) biopsy which confirmed secondary lung cancer which as a combination is even rarer.

Brent has started chemotherapy where for five days at a time he will be put on the drip for 6 – 8 hours each day but he also needs to take the drug Keytruda an immunotherapy treatment. Keytruda blocks the protective mechanism of the cancer cells and allows the immune system to destroy them.

This treatment will cost the family over $75,000, they have approached Pharmac to fund this drug but have been turned down. We are trying to raise $100,000 to pay for Brent's treatment, to bless this family and ease the financial burden of all associated costs.

Brent and his family have never asked for a Givealittle page as they have always been the family that gives to others but please help us raise money for Brent and his family to cover any of the associated costs with fighting this terrible disease.

We hope to keep you all involved with the progress that Brent is making and the joy that we can all provide to them through our gifts.

Heidi Tapper's involvement

Tracey is one of the team at Home-Lee she is a great friend and work colleague. We are supporting Tracey and Brent in their fight against a very rare cancer specifically raising money for the family to get Brent immunotherapy treatment.

Use of funds

Any funds raised will be spent on the drug treatment Keytruda to fight this awful disease and to ease the financial burden of all associated treatment costs.

Latest update

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Update # 1  28 May 2019

Thanks to everyone for your contributions and support, I'm so pleased to have you in my corner backing me and Team Shanks.

Past – They tell me the primary type of cancer I have is very rare and very few of the medical teams or specialists I’ve dealt with have personally come across it. We’ve have some experts from around NZ and the USA (from UCLA and Boston Hospital in Massachusetts) involved in reviewing my information and giving input into my treatment plan. According to US based research the average age of someone diagnosed is 68 (I’m not in that age bracket yet!), and the incidence rates of someone getting it are around 0.4%-0.6% of all cancerous tumours. So what are the chances …feeling damn unlucky!

Present – I have just completed round 1 of chemo, it’s a very exhausting and intense treatment regime and instead of your bulk standard 1 day of treatment every 3 weeks, I have 3 days of treatment in week one, 1 day of treatment in week two, and one day of treatment in week three - yuk! (but currently a necessary yuk!)

Future – We start round two this week (last week of May). A pretty important scan is coming up at the end of this round of treatment to see if the chemo has been able to halt/reduce the size of the tumour in my lung. The oncologist is then going to decide whether we continue with the current chemo plan (yes - if it’s making a difference, and go to Keytruda after that) or whether we go straight to Keytruda.

I’ll keep you all updated when I can. Your thoughts, prays and best wishes are always welcome.

Latest donations

  • Neil, Kim, Sean & Renee

    Neil, Kim, Sean & Renee 4 days ago


    Wishing you all the best for your journey


  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor 4 days ago



  • M

    M on 07 Jun 2019


    Me old mate Brent, is in a bit of a pickle. It will be a while, before you feel like a tickle. Keytruda might be the right track, so it never comes back. Kick this stuff in to touch, we love you much. In a few years we'll celebrate being 50, now that will be nifty. Look back at these cloudy days, your spirit never sways. Your strength overcomes it, plus with your family fighting fit. So we all pitch in, to give you a little grin.


  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 05 Jun 2019



  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 02 Jun 2019



Who's involved?

Heidi Tapper's avatar
Created by Heidi Tapper
Brent and Tracey Shanks's avatar
Paying to a verified bank account of Brent and Tracey Shanks

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This page was created on 30 Apr 2019 and closes on 1 Apr 2020.
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$11,810 of $100,000 goal

Given by 128 generous donors in 6 weeks

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