Family on a time limit to help save young Buderim dad
LOOK at this photo. Now imagine father Chris Maher not in it.
It's harsh, it's confronting and it's reality for the 29-year-old Buderim father who is battling stage three colon cancer.
But a fightback is on. Friends and family have planned a family fun day later this month and there are two fundraising ventures active on GoFundMe, including one where his wife Claire will shave off every single strand of her beautiful blonde locks.
The aim is to raise at least $15,000 for a life-saving operation at a private hospital in Brisbane.
"Without this surgery he will be terminal," Chris's sister Kirstin Notley said. "We're on a time limit.
"He needs to have the surgery. He has a six-week period of rest now, after stopping eight weeks of chemo and radiation. If he waits beyond that, there will be problems."
Chris's wife Claire posted these heartfelt words on the GoFundMe page: "We never thought we would be facing this horror in our life even more so at the age we are. We are not the type of people to ask for assistance, however the reality of this situation has put us in a position to call upon families, businesses and the wider community. We desperately need your help to give Chris the best chance of survival."
The Kawana Waters Hotel has donated just about everything to make the family fun day from 11am on October 26 happen, including jumping castles, face painters, free meals for the Maher family and an auctioneer for the head shave.
Kirstin knows what Chris is going through. She had the same cancer at the age of 19. The family carries a gene mutation that cruelly causes many cancers, colon cancer being the most common.
"People need to be more vigilant with their health," she said. "The guidelines recommend with bowel cancer that there shouldn't be any screening until after the age of 50, and that frustrates me so much.
"If you don't feel yourself, go to the doctor and get checked out."
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