When stomach cancer survivor becomes expert

By Rob Clancy, staff writer

Despite encountering more than her share of health challenges, 92-year-old Delva Walker has the most positive outlook you are ever likely to encounter. A survivor of both stomach cancer (13 years ago) and breast cancer, Delva visited Hudson Institute armed with plenty of questions for Professor Richard Ferrero and Dr Caroline Skene.

L-R Professor Richard Ferrero, donor and stomach cancer survivor Delva Walker and Dr Caroline Skene
L-R: Professor Richard Ferrero, donor and stomach cancer survivor Delva Walker and Dr Caroline Skene

A passionate advocate for medical research, Delva can often be heard asking, “Why isn’t there more funding for stomach cancer research?”

“In 2010, I had a radical gastrectomy for stomach cancer,” she said. “It was successful surgery, and I didn’t have to have chemo or radiation.”

“In Hudson Institute’s newsletter I saw that Professor Richard Ferrero was researching gastric cancer, so I wrote to him and he replied.”

Contacting Prof Ferrero was the start of a mutually beneficial relationship that gave Delva the chance to contribute to his vital research and helped Hudson Institute scientists further their work.

Stomach cancer survivor to advocate

“I was searching for more information about stomach cancer, symptoms etc. and the fact that gastric ulcers can lead to stomach cancer,” she said. “This information must be made available to the public.”

Donor and cancer survivor Delva Walker and Dr Caroline Skene in the lab
L-R: Cancer survivor and donor, Delva Walker and Dr Caroline Skene

Even in her tenth decade, Delva has no plans to slow down. Whether it’s continuing her advocacy for awareness-building and funding for stomach cancer research, or perfecting her home-made orange marmalade, she has a lot of living left to do.

Now, more than 13 years after becoming a stomach cancer survivor, Delva Walker is an inspiration, for her positivity and attitude of taking each day as it comes. She continues to support Hudson Institute’s research with donations and advocacy, all aiming to see more advancements made in stomach cancer research.

Let’s change the odds on cancer.

Learn more about Professor Ferrero’s research

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