Roy's Medical & CJ's Life Expenses

$22,850 of $15k goal

Raised by 325 people in 2 months
Last week I walked in to the doctors surgery feeling unwell, and when I walked out, it was with the diagnosis of terminal cancer: stage 4. I was told I had less than 12 months to live.

My name is Roy Austen. I am 63 years old and the sole carer of my 11 year old son CJ and our two beautiful ragdoll cats Fluffy and Gizmo.

Photography is my passion and I have been in the industry for over 40 years.

11 years ago my son was born. I was  running a successful photographic studio in the city; but that didn’t last.
 
I had no option but to cut back on work to enable me to care for CJ. This led to an obvious reduction in income and eventual closure of the business.

I don’t ever regret the decision I made to care for my son as he has brought me more joy than I could have imagined. He is a very quiet yet happy little boy, who loves school and has a great group of friends.

It would have been just over 2 years when I noticed that certain foods reacted with me and I wasn't able to keep them down.  It was suggested that I had Eosinophilic Esophagitis which is an inflammatory condition of the esophagus. The major symptom in adults is dysphagia - problems swallowing solid food.

Over the next 18 months it continued to worsen with me ending up on a liquid diet to survive, and in the process I lost a huge amount of weight. We discovered that some others had been helped by a dose of daily probiotics, so we tried that and slowly I was able to start eating some of those foods again.

This continued until about 2 months ago when I started having quite a lot of pain in my left side and abdomen, and lumps began to appear. I thought it may have been kidney stones.

It was getting towards the end of the year, which for us not only means Christmas, but Cj’s birthday as well.

As I am on Newstart due to my caring for CJ, we have limited funds and no savings. This makes saving for gifts pretty hard, let alone saving for gifts while realizing that a trip to the doctors would set me back over $100. While the weeklong wait for a rebate is not a problem for most people, for us, it was the difference  between eating or not. As I had been getting steadily worse over the year, I was becoming quite concerned for my health and decided that I was going to try and make this Christmas and birthday the best one CJ had ever had, saving every dollar I could for the entire 12 months.

Due to this, I waited until Christmas was over before making the doctor’s appointment. 5 days ago I went and saw the doctor. He ordered a CT scan for the very next day and on day 3, I was told I had Stage 4 Cancer and it had spread right throughout my body. The main site, however,  was where the oesophagus meets the stomach, which makes complete sense to me given the issues I have had over the past 2 years.

As it stands at present the Dr has given me less than a year to live; but those close to me believe that due to my dramatic loss of weight, my increased level of pain and fatigue and my rapid decline in health, that I will be gone sooner rather than later.

I love to give to others and have been volunteering at the Salvation Army for the 2 years and a bit that I have had this disease.  I chose the Salvation Army as they were very good to me and CJ when we had nothing and had to move house.

Obviously my medical expenses and funeral costs will need to be paid for somehow, and the part I don’t want to think about, but I must, is the ongoing care of CJ.  This is devastating for me, but I am doing everything in my power to try and create the best future possible for my boy, while I am still able to.

For this reason,  I am humbly asking for help, no matter how small.
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Update 9
Posted by Roy Austen
1 month ago
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Well it's been awhile since I updated here. Days are getting harder with not being able to eat and only taking fluids. Tired and weak seem to be every other day at the moment. We have reached half way to our target and I would really love to see this climb so Cj gets a good trust account set-up after all expenses are paid for. Please help and share more as every small donation adds up. Love to you all from CJ and I..
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Update 8
Posted by Roy Austen
1 month ago
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Not a lot of progress other than to be in the care of the palliative nurse team and I have less energy and getting more tired by the week. Still have to clear the old house and get a couple of other things finalized. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all the help and support and ask that everyone keeps sharing and adding to CJ's fund here. Thank you everyone.
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Update 7
Posted by Roy Austen
1 month ago
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Big day yesterday with a visit to the Cancer Dr and confirmation that there is no cure for what I have and also due to the fact I can not eat the final outcome will be sooner than what was originally diagnosed. We are now waiting on appointment with the palliative care Dr for more info for my immediate ongoing care and comfort.
My friend and continued support person Lizz is doing everything she can to make life as easy as possible and I am so grateful to her and Matt who have offered to take myself, CJ and the two cats in under their roof to care for us.
Please continue to share and support this GoFundMe, not only for my immediate expenses but for CJ's future as all money raised and left after expenses will be placed in trust for this amazing son of mine. I am so proud of the awesome boy he has become and the help he is giving me throughout this ordeal.
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Update 6
Posted by Roy Austen
2 months ago
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As it's been awhile I thought I had better update what's happening. Been back to the Dr a few times and got different meds and we almost have the pain under control. Offers of help with meals and other needs for CJ have been forthcoming and very much appreciated. We have been surrounded by lots of beautiful people wanting to help but most things are covered material wise and the greatest area now people can help with is donating to the fund here that will go to CJ via a trust fund once all expenses are cleared. Please keep sharing and those that donate please know that I will always be grateful for the help you have shown myself and my son in this time of need. Blessings to you all, Love Roy and CJ.
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Read a Previous Update
Marquita Gardiner
16 days ago
3
3

I just want to thank each and every one of you for the donation's for CJ, I know Roy would be so happy to see this, knowing his boy has something meant the absolute world to him, in the short time he had left he did all he could for Cj, every moment he made sure his boy was ok,even till the last days,, so from one of his closest friends(he had a few hehe) I THANK YOU... the world is a better place with people like you all

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Shelby Dadd
23 days ago

RIP Roy, such a beautifully talented man taken too soon, my deepest sympathy to CJ, Tim & Minne, also to Lizz & Matt & family on the loss of such a beautiful friend/ co worker. Gone but never forgotten Roy, no more suffering xx Shelly, Brad & family xxooxx

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Lorinda Cash
2 months ago

Oh Roy, I have no words! I will donate as soon as I can! Please sing out if there is anything I can do x

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$22,850 of $15k goal

Raised by 325 people in 2 months
Created January 7, 2017
$20
Victoria Branson-Sims
4 days ago

All the best CJ, I'm very sorry for your loss

$20
Anonymous
4 days ago
$100
Anonymous
7 days ago
ZB
$5
Zoe Blake
7 days ago

Beautiful thing to do, he is lucky to have somebody love him so unconditionally rest easy

SB
$25
S B
12 days ago
1
1
KM
$10
Kathryn Moloney
12 days ago
$50
Anonymous
14 days ago
$100
Anonymous
15 days ago
$5
Anonymous
15 days ago
AW
$100
AGNES WONG
15 days ago

wishing you the best life has to offer and joy docks your every step

Marquita Gardiner
16 days ago
3
3

I just want to thank each and every one of you for the donation's for CJ, I know Roy would be so happy to see this, knowing his boy has something meant the absolute world to him, in the short time he had left he did all he could for Cj, every moment he made sure his boy was ok,even till the last days,, so from one of his closest friends(he had a few hehe) I THANK YOU... the world is a better place with people like you all

+ Read More
Shelby Dadd
23 days ago

RIP Roy, such a beautifully talented man taken too soon, my deepest sympathy to CJ, Tim & Minne, also to Lizz & Matt & family on the loss of such a beautiful friend/ co worker. Gone but never forgotten Roy, no more suffering xx Shelly, Brad & family xxooxx

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Lorinda Cash
2 months ago

Oh Roy, I have no words! I will donate as soon as I can! Please sing out if there is anything I can do x

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