Play cards for Stella

November 22, 2017 by J-Wire
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In September 2015 when Stella Pakula returned from her trip to New York, she felt unwell. 

This photo was taken at Wolper on pancreatic cancer day 2015. Stella passed away three weeks later

The 84-yr-old decided to put off going to the doctors in case she needed treatment.  She wanted to go on her planned trip to Surfers for a month with her sister Kitty Schneeweiss and her best girlfriends, Fay Filler and Gerda Hauser.

After her month away, Stella went to her doctor, and after further investigation, was diagnosed with the deadly Pancreatic Cancer.  Stella was given 3-6 months.  She passed away 13 weeks later.

Pancreatic cancer usually presents itself at Stage 4 when it is too late to treat.   “A doctor telling you that your mother has only 3-6 months left to live, it is too terrible to absorb.  It  was an out of body experience.  My mother was a strong and lively woman who loved her friends and family, travelling, reading, driving, and cards”.   Losing my mum has been an enormous loss to all of us.  We were all so shocked, that Stella, the belle of the ball was dying, and so quickly.

A battle with Pancreatic Cancer is sadly a no-win situation.

Card players

Robyn Pakula, and close school friend, Julie Rosenberg wanted to honour Stella and raise awareness to this deadly disease.  World Pancreatic Cancer Day. “ PLAY CARDS FOR STELLA’s inaugural Game Day was a huge success.  A facebook campaign raised awareness to friends and family.   “We started to raise really good money. Julie and I aimed for 20 people to attend and a goal of $3000.

We ended up with over 60 women at the PLAY CARDS FOR STELLA event and over $15 000.

We are incredibly proud of the support from our community. “

We were incredibly honoured that Nelune Rajapaske of the Nelune Foundation and Professor Alan Speigelman attended.  Professor Speigelman spoke to us all about Pancreatic Cancer and it now being discovered that it is a genetic disease found amongst Ashkanazei Women.  The information was gripping and we all felt that with proper investigation and early diagnosis, we can hopefully avoid such a drastic end.

Professor Speigelman encourages any one with a history of Pancreatic diseases to contact him at this offices at St. Vincent’s hospital for further investigations.

PLAY CARDS FOR STELLA turned out to be an amazing event that was fun as well as loving.  We had 4 Bridge teams, 3 Kalooqui, a game of 500, 4 gin rummy teams and a team of Scrabble.

With so many people having been touched by Cancer, it  is not difficult

To say to people who our hospitals are in need of items and that we together will raise the money that they need.  We have now raised enough for a Chemo Chair at the Randwick Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre and now are raising for furniture for the waiting room.

At the end of the month, Julie and Robyn will be donating their first


Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Randwick.  What a great honour that the Sydney Community of Robyn and Julie’s friends and family can say they have donated such necessary items.

PLAY CARDS FOR STELLA will grow each year.  Our aim is to continue to support the hospital and the Pancreatic Cancer Patients, as well as educate our public.

We encourage everyone who plays cards, to play on the Pancreatic Cancer Day or any day that Month and donate their bit to Pancreatic Cancer.  Having a community Card Day was a wonderful day.  We had a fabulous reaction to our raffle prizes.  We are trying to raise as much as we can to support our hospital and lets hope that together we can

Make PLAY CARDS FOR STELLA a national community awareness day for Pancreatic Cancer

You can still donate,



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