'My husband died from melanoma. I'm due to give birth in just weeks.'

Shane’s life could have been saved by this melanoma drug. And in a bittersweet victory, it’s finally been subsidsided by the government — just months after his death.

In just four weeks we are due to have our second child.

I remember seeing our son Jett for the first time: It was a truly magical moment. His little hands curled around our fingers as he looked up at us, his mummy and daddy.

But this time will be very different. I will be doing it alone — because before the chance to meet our new son, my darling husband Shane lost his long battle with melanoma.

Shane with his son Jett. Image supplied.

Shane fought strong and hard for 15 years, but in March he was taken from his family at only 32 years old, and we lost a special part of our lives forever.

Right until the end, Shane was campaigning to stay alive. He drove a petition to the government pleading for the KeyTruda Melanoma drug to be listed on the PBS. His petition has gathered over 170,000 signatures; the public support was phenomenal.

But disappointingly, the government for too long didn’t listen — and now a loving daddy, husband, son, brother, friend and so much more is forever gone.

Danielle, Shane and their young son. Image supplied.

Watching my husband Shane — a strong-willed, very determined and positive man — deteriorate in front of my eyes is the hardest thing I will ever have to face in my life. Going from a loving wife to a full-time carer is the toughest transition a loved one will endure, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

How do you switch off your own emotions and focus solely on helping your husband die peacefully and pain-free? How do you explain to your three-year-old son that daddy can’t play outside anymore? That in fact, he can’t even pick you up anymore to give you a kiss and cuddle?

Worst of all — how do you explain to your children that their daddy could have been helped by a drug, had the government made access to it a lot easier, a lot quicker?

Shane with his son. Image supplied.

It’s hard to articulate how I feel right now. I feel ripped off. Ripped off for the long lives we were meant to share together. For the soccer games, school performances and birthday parties we were meant to share with our kids.

I feel sad. Sad for the fact my precious boys will grow up without their father and sad for the massive impact that this will have on them.

But this week, I feel something else, too.

Shane with his son. Image supplied.

Because unbelievably, on Sunday we had some amazing news: Prime Minister Tony Abbott finally announced that life-saving melanoma drug Keytruda will be listed on the PBS.


The announcement of the drug’s PBS listing was a very bittersweet moment for me, wishing that this had happened 12 months earlier to help my amazing husband Shane.

At the same time, I am immensely happy for everyone this important development will help. Thinking about the melanoma fighters that will now have more time to spend with their loved ones puts a smile on my face.

With this new PBS listing, Keytruda is no longer out of reach for patients that do not qualify for a clinical trial with the price tag of $10,000 every 3 weeks. Families will no longer be forced to sell their homes, obtain bank loans or beg for fundraising to try and save their loved ones’ lives.

shane son feature 3
Shane and Jett. (Image via

Shane put himself and his illness out there in the public spotlight, which took a lot of courage from a very proud man — but on Sunday, it all paid off.

We, Shane’s family, are so proud that his fight and legacy will live on and benefit so many other Australians. The pleas of the 170,000 petitioners have been heard, and my husbands’ death was not in vain.

Vitally, my boys will now grow up knowing what an amazing man their daddy was and what an incredible achievement he accomplished.


“I don’t want to die. I am not ready to die.”

This is why it’s so important to get your skin checked.

“Since the cancer diagnosis, the old me has been forgotten.”