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Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cancer killer in western society and is predicted to be the second-highest within a decade, with Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah joining forces with Purple Our World after losing their parents to the dreaded disease.


Purple Our World is an organisation started by Jessica Abelsohn and her family who found there was little funding and awareness for pancreatic cancer – a disease which claimed her 57-year-old mother Rochelle. 

Considering only six per cent of patients live beyond five years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the Wests Tigers and the St George Illawarra Dragons – Farah and Marshall's respective clubs – this weekend will wear purple socks in recognition of Purple Our World's charity launch.

Marshall, who lost his father to the disease six years ago, couldn't stress enough the importance of raising awareness.

"The harsh reality is it's one of the worst forms of cancer because from diagnosis my dad lasted three weeks which was pretty quick. You think everything is normal one second and then life gets taking away," Marshall said. 

"We support a lot of charities along the way doing the job that we do and I reckon there's nothing more satisfying than giving back to something that's been taken away from us. 

"Helping out this cause, it means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to Robbie."

Farah lost his mum Sonia three years ago to pancreatic cancer. It's something he has struggled to talk publicly about, but in the name of helping raise awareness of the disease he couldn't help but become an ambassador for Purple Our World.

"It's obviously a cause very close to my heart. When I was approached to come on board as an ambassador, it was tough to even speak about for the first couple of years but I wanted to get involved and help raise awareness for such a terrible disease," Farah said.

"I remember when my mum was diagnosed I knew the harsh reality it was going to be for her and my family. To be able to raise awareness is the least we can do and this was a great opportunity being the last game of the year.

"I thank the Dragons for being open to the idea and between their club and the Tigers we were able to get this off the ground. Hopefully we can open up people's eyes to how terrible a disease it is."

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