Special Projects

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Handbook update  – Thanks again to all the friends and family of Melinda Ferszt for making this Living Legacy Handbook publication possible. The aim is to translate complex information into a simple format so that the handbook is an accessible guide for all.

The current working title for Melinda’s Living legacy Handbook is:
Solving the Colon Cancer Puzzle – The Young Person’s Handbook for Hope

I have spent many months gathering patient stories and information about the rising incidence of colon cancer in younger people. 

I had hoped to have the book completed by 8 March, however Covid19 has caused delays with Handbook contributions from colon specialists in Australia and other countries.

These include leading colon cancer specialists, surgeons, researchers and diagnosticians. At the moment – there are 12 chapters. The handbook begins with the story of Melinda’s and Mark’s journey.

Here are just a few of the topics covered in the Handbook:

Colon cancer awareness, prevention tips, how to get medical needs met-IBS, ulcerative colitis and more, the role of diet and lifestyle in prevention and management of colon conditions, early signs and symptoms of colon cancer in young people, Red flag – genes and inherited colon conditions, the role of genomic diagnostics and how to navigate the colon cancer maze. There is a special section for those who are young and already diagnosed with a primary or metastatic cancer and a section for partners and caregivers is included.
Please visit again for a progress report and a likely date for first publication- eBook and soft cover book

The Grace Gawler Institute for Cancer Survivorship and Research thanks you for your donation on behalf of Melinda Ferszt.
Mark and family generously requested that donations be made to our not-for-profit gift account in lieu of flowers. The Institute had a long association with Melinda and Mark throughout their challenging times.
Your donated funds will be received into our gift account and directly assist patients like Melinda who are diagnosed with rare and difficult to treat cancers.

With appreciation from the directors of the Grace Gawler Institute:
Grace Gawler
Pip Cornall
Jeff Hutner


Your generosity creates a Living Legacy for Melinda Ferszt

Grace Gawler Institute Directors, along with Mark and Melinda’s family, have given heartfelt consideration as to how best to direct your donated funds in lieu of flowers to create a “Living Legacy” for Melinda Ferszt.

Melinda was passionate to help and inspire other colon cancer patients. Her journey was a rollercoaster ride of complications that at each crossroad proved incredibly challenging to navigate.

Melinda’s story is not isolated with younger patients around the world now being diagnosed with colon cancer; a disease previously reserved for people 50+ years. Colon cancer diagnosis in younger people is a virtually silent disease, so easily mistaken for other benign conditions such as IBS.

Therefore, your donated funds will be creatively used to write, and publish an informative and practical handbook for younger patients to help them navigate their way through the colon cancer maze.

The Handbook will be a first of it’s kind and be available in print and eBook. Funds raised from sales of the Handbook will revert to the Melinda Ferszt fund to ensure Melinda’s Living Legacy is perpetual.

Those funds will generate innovative research into prevention and early diagnosis of colon cancer. Mark and family are supportive of the Handbook seeing it a tool which can potentially help other young people diagnosed with colon cancer.  We invite you to visit this page again for further updates on the Handbook’s progress.

One again we thank you for your donation. The Directors for The Grace Gawler Institute.

Grace Gawler Institute Aims:

  • The Institute’s sole purpose is to benefit the lives of cancer patients via comprehensive cancer navigation, support and educational services.
  • As a result of working directly with patients, the Institute researches the most effective and beneficial methods learned from patient experiences.
  • We aim to bridge the gaps in cancer medicine and help patients to navigate the complex Cancer maze.