What started off as neck and back pain for young Havelock North mum Nicci Fryer, 31, soon turned into something she couldn’t believe, terminal cancer.
“It was like something out of a movie,” said her partner, Jon Farquharson, of the devastating diagnosis two months ago.
“You normally watch something like that and not really understand what it feels like until it happens to you, and then it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s what it feels like’.”
Fryer has a rare form of cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. It is a cancerous tumour that grows in the bones or the soft tissue around bones, such as cartilage or the nerves.
She is receiving aggressive treatment, mostly to help extend the quality of her life.
Fryer only started to notice something was wrong only a matter of months ago when she started getting neck and back pains.
“We did a couple of rounds with doctors and then one night we went to ED (emergency department) because the pain was so bad so they did a few tests to try to find any reasons for the pain while they treated it,” Farquharson said.
“The scans came back showing some unknown growths which we had to look into further, which later confirmed it was cancerous.”
Fryer didn’t leave the hospital for five weeks after going into the ED that night, soon learning that the cancer was at stage 4 and terminal.
She is currently based at home as a Hospice outpatient and spending as much time as she can with her two boys, aged 8 and 5.
A friend of the couple and creator of a Givealittle page for the family, Susan Strong, said that all she wanted to do was to give a little help to a young family that has “been dealt such an unfair card”.
“I decided to set up the Givealittle page when it became obvious of the financial stresses that this illness was placing upon the family through no fault of their own.
“Jon has stepped up to the caregiver role for Nicci and as a great dad to his step-sons. He has put his electrical apprenticeship on hold which he was recently recognised by EIT after achieving the highest marks in Hawkes Bay for his trade examinations.”
She said that the diagnosis came out of the blue and she just wants to raise enough money to help out the family so they can enjoy every moment left together without any worry.
“She just wants the opportunity to spend time with her family and ensure that her sons have great strong memories of her while she is still able to get out and about,” Strong said.
“I am hoping that this fund will in the short term help them to do that and in the long term be there to provide a financial buffer in the harder times ahead as well. Nicci has insisted some be left aside for funeral costs.”
Race4life, with the support of Simpson Western law firm, has already helped by organising a trip to Auckland for the family which they will go on this month.
The children are big fans of animals and sea life so a trip to Kelly Tarltons and Auckland Zoo are high on the agenda.
They will take a trip up the Sky Tower, along with a whole range of fun activities which have been organised for the family to enjoy and treasure.
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