WITH a five-year plan and a healthy baby girl on the way, Davys and Joanna House’s first year of marriage was tracking along perfectly.
Mr House, who always knew he wanted to be a hands-on dad, was ready for the challenge of late-night feeds and nappy changing.
But little did he know that on the day his daughter was born he would be rushing from radiation treatment in one hospital to the birthing suite in another to cut the umbilical cord.
Mrs House was almost eight months pregnant in March last year when her husband learnt his dizzy spells and nausea were being caused by an aggressive cancer usually seen in children.
He had surgery to remove a golf ball-sized brain tumour that was pressing on his spinal cord then started rehabilitation to learn to do simple things again, such as walking and cooking.
The cancer was so rare in adults that doctors did not have a treatment plan, so they threw everything they could at Mr House and hoped for the best.
The day after he started intensive radiation treatment, his daughter Charlotte was born.
She became his driving force as he pushed himself through six rounds of chemotherapy that left him wiped out and at times unable to even drag himself out of bed.
“Charlotte was a blessing and she was definitely a massive motivator for me,” Mr House said. “Especially as time went on, being there became more and more important.”
It was not until Mr and Mrs House were confronted with brain cancer that they realised how low the survival rate was and how little government funding the disease received.
They were shocked to learn that only two in 10 people survived for at least five years.
After months of gruelling treatments, Mr House is entering remission with the best possible chance of a long future.
The couple had hoped to celebrate the end of his chemotherapy at the Paper Crane Gala Ball, which raises money for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
Tickets sold out, so with the help of their friends they have organised their own charity dinner on Saturday night to raise money for the same cause.
Mrs House said the support for their event had been so overwhelming that they had moved it to a bigger venue to accommodate all the guests.
“Brain cancer was not on our radar one bit — it’s just something that doesn’t happen to you,” she said.
“In the future, we don’t want people in Davys’ position to have to hear those scary statistics or have that conversation with an oncologist who says, ‘We don’t know how to treat you’.”
For more information or to donate go to epicuredinner.com.