Hey, my name is Rhys. Until recently, after a bunch of years working as a teacher in China and nursing my grandmother in South Wales, I was cheerfully living in central Manchester, UK, managing a bar in the city centre and proudly watching my girlfried sail through her degree with first class honours.
Alas, our celebration of her recent graduation and hopes for the future ahead of us have been dampened by my recent admission to the city hospital. What were originally merely sore legs, put down to the work I was doing, has developed, quickly and surprisingly, with each new diagnosis more bizarre and eye brow raising.
Last week I was informed that my chest cavity is unexpectedly full of malignant cancer cells. So far doctors are unable to tell me where the cancer has come from, only that it has developed enough to spread to my lungs and is probably inoperable and incurable. It's a glacial slow one, which I guess is both a blessing and a curse. Whilst my previous good health and unusually young age for diagnosis mitigate against it, the outlook's pretty bleak, and there's no doubt I'm going to get pretty damned sick soon.
Work is obviously no longer an option, so I've had to reluctantly "retire" for now, leaving my beloved Rhea and I reliant on her Teaching Assistant's salary, loans and the goodwill of our friends and family. After so long spent studying and getting ourselves ready for our post-study lives, our savings are very meagre, to say the least.
Even were the experience of suffering cancer itself not to prove expensive, this is clearly not a viable situation long-term. Many of the friends that I've made from around the world over the years have asked how they can help, and we came across this site, so we are putting our pride aside, picking up our faith in the awesomeness of people and trying this out.