On a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon in July, Stephen O'Donoghue (pictured left with the dark blue shirt) celebrated his birthday party at the Mangrove Mountain Gold Club. Around 60 people attended and Stephen requested no presents but asked if anyone felt inclined, it would be appreciated to give a donation to Unicorn Foundation. All friends and family know that Stephen suffers from NETs and were more than generous with their donations, raising over $1,600 on the day. Stephen celebrated with some lovely food and drinks alongside his twin brother Peter. There were 26 O'Donoghue family members who came for the big event from far and wide including Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney. Stephen's wife Brenda said "it was the first time every O'Donoghue family member has come together and it certainly was a special occasion."
Brenda kindly put some words together which describe Stephen's incredible journey with NETs after his diagnosis in 2011 and being told he only had two years to live…..
"We are so lucky to be able to celebrate Stephens birthday,
as 8 years ago he was diagnosed with NET Cancer and had part of his small intestine
removed and shortly after was told he had about 2 years to live. He had many
tumours all through his body (still has about 39 of the buggars). We were
all devastated, but Stephen is the eternal optimist and although the outlook
was grim always looked on the positive side. In November 2011 he was
lucky enough to get onto a Trial of Lutate & Xeloda tablets through St
George Hospital. In October 2012 the trial results were given, and although the
tumours did not shrink, they did not grow and no new tumours were detected.
This was wonderful news, and although we know he will never be clear, Stephen
is now calling his NETS a chronic illness. He has had his ups
and downs health wise, but at the present moment, after watching what he eats,
doing exercise (he is doing Crossfit 5 nights a week) he is the fittest that he
has ever been. We as a family are so proud of him, he is an inspiration
Stephen attends monthly NET support group meetings at the SAN hospital which he says are very helpful and is also Captain of The Bays Rural Fire Brigade (hence the cake below).
A big thanks to Stephen and the O'Donoghue family for your wonderful fundraising efforts. We are truly inspired by Stephen's journey with NETs and appreciate you sharing this story to help others on a similar path.