If you looked at the photo below without knowing Brendan's story, you'd think life was pretty great, and in that moment, you'd be right. Brendan (28 years old) had not long finished his final round of Chemotherapy and Stem cell transplants, to beat cancer for the third time in less than 2 years.
That photo was taken on the 9th of November, the day Brendan and his wife Leah went unconditional on their first home. This was going to be a fresh start for them, and their two beautiful children - Georgie and Roman.
On Friday the 22nd of November, 3 days before they were due to move into their new home, they received the heart breaking news that Brendan's cancer had returned. This time, it came with the devastating news that it's terminal.
Brendan's Oncologist has given him 6 to 12 months left to live, but he's a fighter. He fought for his country in the Australian Army over in Afghanistan, and now he's fighting for time with his family.
There currently isn't a known cure for Brendan's type of cancer now, having already completed 3 different types of Chemotheraphy, including 3 high dose rounds with stem cell transplants. He has just started Chemo tablets, accompanied with high dose intravenous vitamin/mineral injections in a bid reduce the aggressiveness of the cancer spreading. The cost alone for the intravenous injections is $2000 per week!
Brendan also met with a specialist last week to see if he can qualify for an Immunotherapy trial starting in January. There are a number of genetic tests that he is waiting to take to determine if he is compatible for the trial. The cost just for the genetic testing is $9000.
Whilst this isn't a proven cure, previous Immunotherapy trials have demonstrated a significant increase in progression free survival, which means more time for Brendan to spend with his family. We hope to be able to share an update on this next week after the genetic tests are finished.
With Leah off work looking after 2 young kids, Brendan was the sole provider of income for their family. On top of the cost of treatment mentioned above, there's accompanying medication, a specialised organic diet, doctors consultations, travel expenses, bills, nappies, clothes, and everything else a young family requires, plus the mortgage on the family home. You don't need a calculator to know that's well over $1000 per week.
Whilst no amount of money will change the outcome for Brendan, it will go a long way in ensuring Brendan has access the best treatment available, to give him the best quality, and quantity of life, to spend with his beautiful family.
Any donation would be greatly appreciated, and for those who might not be in the position to donate, please share this post and see how far we can spread Brendan's story.
For those that don't know Brendan Nikolajew, I urge you follow his inspiring journey on instagram - instagram.com/brendans.cancer.fight
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