Back to page

Brent Shanks - A good guy - Help him beat Cancer

  • Rest now my love     17 November 2019
    Posted by: Heidi Tapper
    Main image

    On Wednesday 13th November at 7.50pm our beloved Brent passed away quickly but peacefully surrounded by family and close friends.

    It has been a huge shock and everyone will be trying to figure a way through this time. We have been totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from many hundreds of caring friends and family and wish to thank you all.

    The funeral will be held Wednesday 20th at 1.30pm at Shone and Shirley,164 Tahunanui Drive, Nelson.

    And live streamed via a link which will be added here soon. (The link will be active for up to 3mths).

    In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Nelson Cancer Society or Nelson Hospice who have both been such a support to us.

    If you have any messages to, photos or stories of Brent please share them on our facebook site or the tributes email address

    'You have left a huge hole in our lives my darling and we miss you so so much. Rest now my love xx.'

      4 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update

  • Update # 7 - Sep 2019     26 September 2019
    Posted by: Heidi Tapper
    Main image

    Well the facial hair is starting to return after the body was hammered by chemo and today (26/9) we do Keytruda round # 2, and they'll need to do atleast 4 rounds before I have another CT scan to see what effect it's having .. fingers crossed

    Wellington folk - here are some local events you might be interested in (thanks Tas Parsons):


    Thanks for all the support

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update

  • Update # 6, 1st Sep 2019     2 September 2019
    Posted by: Heidi Tapper
    Main image

    A couple of quick updates:

    * good news, thanks to Lisa Glassey for all her hard work and efforts for organisning the quiz night fundraiser in Wellington last week which raised $3K, very much appreciated,

    * blood test - results of a recent blood test came back last week with an improvement in both red and white blood cell counts

    * bad news - we supplied some more information to Pharmac and them to review our application for funding of Keytruda, and even with the recent announcement of more govt. funding we've heard back and they've declined funding and closed my file

    .. so we start private Keytruda immunotherapy on 5th Sep, it's $12K every 3 weeks (+ private hospital infusion and admin fees), we'll look to do 4 rounds of treatment then get another scan done to compare the before/after shots

    Thanks for the support everyone

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update

  • Update # 5      22 August 2019
    Posted by: Heidi Tapper
    Main image

    Well after 13 weeks and 4 rounds of seriously intensive chemotherapy, we got the CT results back and we're massively disappointed to be told it's not be successful .. so onto Keytruda .. I've met with the private hospital who will be administering the Kerytruda (Pembrolizumab) and we're aiming for a start date of 5th September @ approx $12K for the drug and $1200 for the priviledge of having it injected into my system every 3 weeks .. they'll look to do 4 Keytruda IV infusions/treatments then do another CT scan and fingers crossed for a better outcome to rid me of the nasties

    Also, some wonderful local friends are helping out with the fundraising cause:

    * Family photos (Nelson) - thanks Leah

    * Garage Sale (Nelson) - thanks Rachael and Lynn

    Thanks Tas and Jeremy in Wellington -

    Appreciate all the messages of aroha and support

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update

  • Update 4 - #steveshaves     30 July 2019
    Posted by: Heidi Tapper
    Main image

    “I don't want to shave my head but hair goes... This is my very good friend, Brent. He has been fighting a huge, horrible cancer battle for the last year. The pain, illness and distress he has braved has been beyond imagining (honestly imagine the worst and triple it). Please help me to raise funds to get him Keytruda. This drug will give him the very best chance of fighting and spending precious time with his girls - Tracey, Hannah & Emily. He is honestly one of the best people I know and he is an absolute warrior. Please go to his Givealittle and give as much as you can. If you want to make me bald as well then hashtag #steveshaves and if I raise at least $1000 I'll shave"

    Steve Hussey -

    Let’s see if we can get Steve to shave his hair ..

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update

  • Update # 3 - Quiz night 27 August 2019 in Wellington     14 July 2019
    Posted by: Heidi Tapper
    Main image

    Hey Wellington friends and family.

    A very good friend, Lisa Glassey, from our time living in Wellington has organised a fundraising Quiz night to help us raise funds for Brent's treatment.

    Tues 27th Aug - A great night to dust off your brain matter, $20 per ticket (excl. booking fee) - more info here:

    Brent did a short video message which you can see on her facebook page here:

    If you’re unable to go along but are able to contribute anything for the hampers or any merchandise, vouchers or goodies or prizes for the silent auction please contact Lisa - before the end of July

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update

  • Update # 2     4 July 2019
    Posted by: Heidi Tapper
    Main image

    After rounds 1 and 2 of chemo completed, the latest CT scan results show the tumour has been halted (hasn’t grown but hasn’t shrunk either) and doesn’t appear to have spread anywhere else which is good news

    We are proceeding with rounds 3 & 4 of chemo treatment, whilst getting a 2nd opinion on when to start Keytruda (Pembrolizumab immunotherapy drug treatment). This will either be during the current chemo treatment or after round 4 has finished .. the days are getting closer .. the hair is all gone but the fight continues ..

      1 comment  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update

  • Update # 1     28 May 2019
    Posted by: Heidi Tapper
    Main image

    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.

      1 comment  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update

Share a link to this page to help spread the word





  Copy Link


  QR Code