How it began…

2 brothers both Extrahepatic-Distal, with less than 6 months to live.

My family experienced the devastating impact of death and cancer at a young age. During a mid-week cricket training session, my father Dennis, who was the coach of a local cricket team, suffered a sudden heart attack and passed away. My brother Graeme and I were at the session and witnessed the tragedy. At the time, I was 29 years old, newly married to Claire, and expecting our first child. Graeme was 27 years old and Dennis was 52.

Years later, Graeme was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and aggressive cancer of the bile ducts that impacts the liver, pancreas, and other organs. Despite efforts by doctors with no prior experience treating this cancer, Graeme lost his 18-month battle.

In November 2016, I received a similar diagnosis to my brother’s. The situation seemed dire as no one had ever succeeded in overcoming this cancer from a terminal stage 4 metastatic setting. After 25 hours of life-threatening surgeries including an amazing surgical save by Dr. Tom Snow in an emergency aneurysm event, all the praise has to go to my wife Claire and the Gold Coast ambulance service for getting me into surgery with only minutes to spare. Because of their amazing efforts, I survived that day and was able to go on to participate in two international clinical trials led by Dr. Matthew Burge.

3 days from days to survive to NED

Fast forward 5.5 months on my first clinical trial, and I only have weeks or days to live at best when Dr. Burge got me onto a second trial and part of a new medical breakthrough for gastrointestinal cancer patients. I became the second-ever Cholangiocarcinoma patient to fully recover from a terminal stage 4 metastatic setting, via the international clinical trial Keynote 158 and one of the 1% of the 1% of all cancer patients to completely succeed from a Stage 4 diagnosis.

Unofficially it took just 3 days for me to fully respond and officially 9 weeks to scan and record the words  “complete response”. It was the third day post my first infusion on Keynote 158, where I went from not being able to sit up due to significant weakness, ever-increasing immense pain, and laboured breathing to spontaneously sitting up and asking Claire to take me outside for a walk.


Claire and I initially created this website to file research and also as a space for me to record my experiences and what was learned. It became a place of experiences, knowledge, and wisdom that needed to be shared. This was the origin of the Australian CCF.

CCF Australia continues to evolve forward and has progressed to become part of a global CCF effort. Can I suggest you also read how Stacie Lindsey launched CCF many years before I was diagnosed as a result of her brother Mark Clement’s CCA diagnosis in 2005.

CCF Australia will continue to evolve and is now affiliated and partnered with CCF New Zealand and CCF USA.

Kind regards
Steve Holmes

About Steve

CEO / Director &
Founder CCF Australia

Graeme Holmes – RIP 2014