“It doesn't take a medical expert to understand that is not good … but rest assured if it is cancer I'm a fighting man”
Derek Larner – October 8, 2020
(CMR) Local runner and president of the 345 Athletic Club Mr. Derek Larner (56) has passed away after a brief illness after being diagnosed with cancer in late October 2020. He was brave and shared his journey via his Facebook page.
His amazing diagnosis and journey were followed by many friends and family as he openly shared his order on social media.
In early October Larner had confirmed via social media that he has pancreatic and liver tumors that are causing him severe discomfort and pain. At the time of the Facebook live stream, he decided to share the very personal details after what he describes as much speculation about his health.
He confirmed that he did not know if the tumors were malignant or benign at the time but was awaiting a biopsy to be conducted at Health City. Despite that, he noted that he was committed to fighting this 100% for the sake of his family; particularly his young daughter.
Later that month he confirmed that doctors had found several tumors on his liver and pancreas and that he had been diagnosed with stage four Adenocarcinoma. He described it as “an aggressive form of cancer” and had gone to the United States for treatment.
“Now I know who I am in battle with,” said Larner. “Prior to this moment I didn’t know…but now I can be on to fight it, which means I can see the right people, get the right medicine and treatment.”
On December 22 he noted in his final Facebook post:
Sadly he lost that fight.
Larner was active in the athletics field and an avid runner and distance running coach as well and president of the 345 Athletics Club and involved in Race Caribbean. He was a coach that many looked up to and admired. He was actively involved in the community and volunteered with the Cayman Islands Athletic Association.
In 2018 Larner competed in the USA Track and Field Masters Outdoor Championships in Spokane, Washington, at the Eastern Washington University track. He competed in six events in four days and had three podium finishes, with a gold medal in the 3000m Steeplechase.
He also achieved two second-place finishes in the 4 x 800m and 4 x 400m relays, a fifth-place finish in the 10000m, seventh place in the 5000m and also competed in the 1500m.
He was one of the first members of the Cayman Islands regiment.
Larner was an accountant with BDO.
He shared on his first post that: “When you see me, please just continue as normal.”
He made a final video post on December 2.
Larner is survived by his wife Laura Larner, a local attorney and their daughter. He also enjoyed a special relationship with his three sons that he loved dearly – Timothy, Philip and David.