A routine physical examination may have saved a Buderim mother’s life.
Daphne Nasir was having a health check to satisfy visa requirements in order to stay in the country with her children, who are Australian residents, when doctors found an anomaly on one of her lungs.
The single mother of three became a widower in 2004 after she lost the love of her life to lung cancer.
She recently received the crushing diagnosis that she has a rare form of aggressive mature T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoblastic lymphoma.
Best friend Annie Belcher, who has known Ms Nasir since they were 15-year-olds in Hong Kong, says Ms Nasir was asymptomatic before the diagnosis, but the chemotherapy is taking its toll on her body.
“She is too unwell to work and is spending one week out of three in hospital,” Ms Belcher says.
“Her kids, who are 17 and 18 years old, are fending for themselves, with the eldest working part-time and trying to get through uni.
“The youngest has just finished Year 11 and cannot find work and all through this, they are staring down the barrel of losing their mum.
“They have already lost their father to cancer and their mum’s diagnosis has really throttled them.”
Ms Belcher has done what she can for the family, providing meals for them and providing emotional support through this tough time, but she says Ms Nasir’s inability to work has resulted in “massive anxiety attacks” as her best friend worries how she will continue to keep a roof over her family’s heads.
Ms Belcher is now reaching out to the Sunshine Coast community to help in any way that they can and has set up a Go Fund Me account for Ms Nasir for the sole purpose of paying the family’s rent for the next six months while Ms Nasir is undergoing treatment.
“Just from the people we know, we have raised more than $8500, but we’d like to reach $25,000 to give her peace of mind so she can focus on her recovery,” Ms Belcher says.
“The real estate agents, Century 21, have given them a rental reduction and done everything they can possibly do, which is brilliant, but the burden of paying rent and bills has fallen on the kids and they are ill-prepared for this and I want to pay the rent for as long as I can so Daph can focus on treatment and recovery and the kids can worry a little less.”
To give the fundraising drive an extra boost, Ms Belcher is putting her 50-centimetre-long blonde hair on the line and is preparing to cut it off on December 15.
The hair will be donated to a wig maker to provide a cancer patient with a beautiful wig.
“My hair goes down to my tailbone and Daph has called me Goldilocks forever, so she was shocked when I said I would chop it off to support the fundraising cause,” Ms Belcher says.
“December 15 is also a powerful day for me as it’s my father’s birthday and he died two years ago from esophageal cancer.
“I offered to cut my hair off while he was undergoing treatment, but he said he could get by without his because he was a bloke.
“It doesn’t seem fair that my bestie is rocking a pixie cut and I have this long hair.”
To help the family with rent while Ms Nasir undergoes treatment, donate at gofundme.com/down-the-rabbit-hole-with-Daphne.