It was a Saturday evening in 2013. Jake and I had just got back from watching an outdoor movie with friends. We had planned to go shopping the next day for dog supplies, as we were soon picking up our new puppy.
After a very long 24 hours of ambulances, doctors, nurses, and scans, the chilling words were spoken: “It’s a mass on the brain”.
At the time Jake was a healthy 24-year-old. We had been together for just over a year and not once during that time was there any warning that something serious was going on. He was diagnosed with a Grade II Astrocytoma. A tumour that was the size of a fist pushing his whole brain to one side.
On Christmas Eve, he was taken into surgery. Although it was successful, this type of malignant tumour was very aggressive and left him with a life expectancy of four years.
For months, Jake tried his best to readjust and manage his new prognosis. Unless you were told, you could never tell he was sick. He still wore his big smile and continued to put everyone else first. He rarely let cancer stop him from living his life.
He even decided to return to Murdoch University to study a second degree, Business Law. This was done part-time between numerous chemotherapy treatments, radiation sessions, and oncology appointments.
He was the picture of strength, courage, and determination. Every time there was a setback with his health, he took it in his stride.
Sadly, the tumours kept growing back, each time more aggressive than the last. When it re-grew for the final time, it returned as a Grade IV Glioblastoma. The most aggressive and dangerous type of brain cancer that exists.