Kevin 'Chalky' Carr was bought up in the West Midlands in the UK and emigrated to Christchurch 19 years ago.
A former Royal Marine Commando, Chalky was working as a Lieutenant Commander for the Royal New Zealand Navy at HMNZS Pegasus in Montreal St when the deadly February 22 earthquake struck. Heading into the city to do what he could to help, he was subsequently awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal by the Governor-General for his "selfless actions and leadership that saved many lives and had a major impact on the outcome of the rescue efforts at the CTV building".
A lifelong rugby fan, he subsequently got a job with the All Blacks as their logistics manager and was on tour with the team in June 2016 when he fell ill and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Chalky thought he’d kicked his "rust" into touch last year after surgery and chemotherapy but has been given a terminal diagnosis.
"I don't want sympathy. I want to do something productive and meaningful while I can – and for me that’s helping someone else impacted by cancer. One thing that kept me going was there was always someone worse off than me. Even when I was in the darkest depths of horrid chemotherapy, I felt I was incredibly lucky to be in the position I am.
My family is financially secure and I just thought to myself, I really want to do something for someone who's been impacted by cancer and isn't as lucky as me."
Chalky has created the Chalky Carr Trust which is raising money to help people who are bound together by a cancer experience in a very practical way. The current focus is to raise $100,000 for Isla Lunn, a young girl whose mother Kellie died this year and is now being brought up by her grandparents. He wants to create a nest egg for Isla because her mother Kelli was never able to. to After helping Isla, he will find others to support as well as fund research into pancreatic cancer in New Zealand.
"We are going to look to continue to raise money over and above the $100,000 dollars for Isla, for people who are impacted by cancer."