A father-of-four has been diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer and the family is raising funds to fly him to Sydney for surgery. His 7-year-old daughter is auctioning hand-painted tea towels to raise money for the $100,000 trip.
Life is unpredictable and can change in an instant. That was exactly what happened to the family in March 2019, when the father-of-four was diagnosed with stage three of brain cancer. He had a seizure in front of his two eldest daughters Luna, five, and Mili, three, at the family home on the Gold Coast. They called a neighbor for help and he rushed to the hospital, where doctors discovered the cancer. Because it is a high-risk area of the brain, they refused to operate on it.
Diego’s wife Hayley Allen, 32, struggles to fly her husband to Sidney, as the renowned brain surgeon Charlie Teo is their only hope. Their 7-year-old daughter is auctioning hand-painted tea towels for $130 to raise money for the $100,000 operation.
The operation Charlie Teo was invited to undergo at Queensland Public Hospital has not taken place in 35 years. They will never give you a definitive answer, but the operation will prolong his life by years compared to the 12 months he had before. He believes he has 99 per cent of the tumor back. With such a short prognosis, the 5-month-old son that people fathered after the discovery of the tumors has no chance to evoke memories of his father.
The family asked for a letter of recommendation from the doctor and tried to fly him across the border but were unlucky, so they started fundraising and flew him back to Sydney. Ms Allen said the family continued to fight and she told her children she was trying to keep them alive. Charlie Teo’s first seizure had a huge impact on her 7-year-old daughter Luna. She broke down and cried because she didn’t want him to die.
They got her to see a therapist to talk about the difficult times. She also auctioned off painted tea towels on Instagram to help her father fly to Sydney. She contributed $600 and the highest bidder handed over $130 for a single towel.
Mr Teo told them he could have surgery tomorrow if the family could raise the money. It’s really hard because Diego hasn’t been able to work since his illness, he can’t drive a car, can’t take the kids to school or can’t be taken to appointments. During this time, we do our best and spend every penny on his treatment, but he has to pay the rent and buy food.
At the start of the year, when we had no money, I dropped the amount of cannabis oil we gave him so that he could grow more for a while, and I was about to give birth to our little boy. For six weeks of chemotherapy, the family was forced to relocate to a more affordable Beaudesert area.
When I stop, my brain starts to tick and it becomes overwhelming because I am so active and try to focus on what I am doing.
In a post on GoFundMe, she said she felt like a terrible person because she had asked for life-saving treatment but she knew she had to try. People have been so kind and generous, and the family hopes they will be able to pay for the rest of the father’s treatment. The treatment will cost $100,000, but the family will need more for travel and quarantine so they have set up the fund with a goal of $150,000.