Jared and Hannah Noel. Photo by The New Zealand Herald.
Jared Noel has just one wish before he dies - to see his
unborn baby daughter.
''My greatest hope is that I get to spend some time with her
and enjoy fatherhood," he said.
"She won't know me. She won't remember me. But I'd like to
let her know how much I would have wanted to be there when
she's 18, when she's 25.''
Mr Noel (32) was diagnosed with bowel cancer after being
admitted to hospital with abdominal pain in November 2008.
He has since had 66 rounds of chemotherapy and two major
Despite knowing the cancer would eventually beat him, Mr Noel
and his wife Hannah decided to try for a baby in the hope he
would live long enough to experience the first part of his
After four rounds of IVF they succeeded and their daughter is
due on January 21.
Hannah Noel (nee Ross, 31) grew up in Dunedin and was head
girl at Columba College in 1999. The couple, who live in
Auckland, married at Maori Hill Presbyterian Church, in
Dunedin, on December 28, 2007.
Last week, the couple were given the devastating news that
the cancer had grown rampantly in Mr Noel's liver and spread
to his lung.
Without more chemotherapy, doctors say it is unlikely he will
live past Christmas.
"This is the moment we have been dreading for five years and
have been lucky to escape until now,'' Mr Noel wrote on his
blog after receiving the diagnosis.
"This is where everything changes. I have a lifespan measured
"Hannah and I are gutted, the realisation that cancer is
winning is like having a knife hacked into the deepest part
of our soul.
"It hurts in a way that words cannot describe, it leaves us
gasping for air, wondering if this is actually real.
''The disappointment is compounded by knowing we have a
daughter waiting to meet us, and for the first time, doubt
has been cast over whether or not I will make that meeting.
This is aggressive cancer, doing its best to kill me, to rob
our child of their father,'' Mr Noel said.
The couple have saved for the birth of their daughter but
even with Mrs Noel's maternity leave - she is a paediatric
registrar at Waitakere Hospital - they do not have enough
money to pay for further treatment so have turned to
fundraising money that could hopefully give Mr Noel the extra
weeks, possibly months, he needs to meet his daughter.
Mr Noel said he had always been ''a little reluctant to fund
a drug that does not change outcome'' but in light of his
expectant parenthood, his life expectancy had become more
''Surviving for as long as possible is not so much about me
any more as it is about Hannah and our unborn child.''
As a result, they allowed a friend to set up a page on
fundraising site Givealittle, appealing for $60,000 to buy 10
courses of the drug Avastin.
The drug, which is not funded by Pharmac, could slow the
growth of Mr Noel's tumours enough to extend his life
expectancy beyond the birth of his daughter - though it will
not cure him.
The fundraising page went live at 3pm on Tuesday and by 10pm
had already raised the money. A day later, nearly $100,000
had poured in.
The donations were of varying amounts and many came from
anonymous donors or people who did not know the Noels.
A Givealittle spokeswoman said it was the quickest a
fundraising target had been reached since the site was set up
in December, 2008.
Mr Noel said he was overwhelmed at the generosity shown to
''I have no words. We're just stunned. We're grateful and
humbled by it all. It's just so overwhelming.
''I knew there was some support and empathy out there but the
response that we've got - I have no words.''
He said the extra money raised would go towards giving his
wife financial security after he was gone.
However, if it continued to come in at the present rate, he
would consider setting up a trust to benefit his daughter.
Mr Noel said he planned to start his first course of Avastin
and restart chemotherapy next week.
He vowed to give all he could to make sure he was there for
the birth of his daughter.
''I'm at the business end of the fight now. But I've outlived
everybody's expectations so far. I can make it.''