PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A local man just donated more than $30,000 he raised in his wife’s memory to Magee-Womens Research Institute. She died of ovarian cancer at a young age, but by participating in a trial, she lived more than seven years after her diagnosis and paved the way for other women.

Darcel Fahy was courageous, dynamic and helped others, even while battling ovarian cancer the last seven years of her life. Her husband, Mike, says he’s grateful for the seven years, which is longer than many ovarian cancer patients get, but he wishes it was longer.

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“I always feel one of the big injustices was that I knew her longer with cancer than without it, you know, and that’s a shame,” said Mike.

(Photo: Provided)

Mike and his new wife raised $30,000 dollars in Darcel’s honor, donating it for ovarian cancer research at Magee.

“I think it’s really important when you lose a loved one to find a way to keep their memory alive, and what better way to do that than with a craft beer,” said Mike.

Whitehorse Brewery, outside Altoona and where Mike worked, created a coffee stout in Darcel’s honor and donated the proceeds from the sale.

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“It’s monies like these that allow us to do that initial work that engages the interest of the funder, and without these funds, we wouldn’t have successful grants,” said Dr. Robert Edwards at OB/GYN Chair UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.

Darcel participated in a trial at Magee in which chemotherapy was administered in her abdomen for several weeks, traveling almost two hours each way to get to Magee.

“It was pretty tough on her physically, but she always found a will and a way to do it. She never complained, no matter what, no matter what they threw at her, she didn’t complain,” said Mike.

That trial has become the standard of care at Magee and helped prolong the lives of many women, including Dr. Carolyn Kubik, a Magee doctor diagnosed with ovarian cancer, who underwent the same treatment.

“Cancer free. Four years out. It’s a miracle. I’m grateful every day to Dr. Edwards and to Darcel,” Kubik said.

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A life too short but still helping others today.

Kristine Sorensen