Barry Du Bois is not a religious man, but when the builder-turned-TV host was undergoing a double dose of chemotherapy in 2017, he prayed. He prayed for strength; not the spiritual or emotional kind, the kind that meant he could lift his own children.
Du Bois was diagnosed with cancer of the bone marrow (plasmacytoma myeloma) back in 2011 after suffering persistent neck pain. Surgery and radiotherapy kept the disease at bay for six years, until it returned as multiple myeloma in 2017.
The aggressive treatment sapped the fit, active star of The Living Room of his usual vigour. In a piece for Men’s Health Australia magazine in 2019, Du Bois wrote that he felt "helpless and weak", a feeling that he worried may one day colour his kids' memories of him.
"You see, I have these incredible memories of the strength of my father, and I was very worried that my own children would remember me as a weak person who was a burden on their mother," the 60-year-old wrote. "I’m a very positive guy, but that thought really haunted me."
Listen: Barry Du Bois shares how fatherhood gave him a whole new strength. Post continues after.
"What I have is not curable. But I’m in a great place. I’m as good as someone can be who has multiple myeloma."
Du Bois has long held an overwhelmingly positive attitude towards his diagnosis.
In a new interview with TV Week, Du Bois admitted that he's not feeling particularly anxious amid the COVID-19 pandemic.