Main image

Dabrowski family cancer treatment support

Cause page created in the Health category by Dana Russ for "John & Zara Dabrowski"

$38,064 of $100,000 goal

Given by 511 generous donors in 12 weeks

Share   Donate

Support for John to seek unfunded treatment for a drug that will hopefully give him more time with his family.

Main image
  Bay of Plenty

John and Zara are people who give their time freely to friends and family, are there when you need them, very social and amazing parents. They are strong, kind, dedicated and have been dealt a horrible 7 years of bad luck. John and Zara are parents to two amazing little girls, Ava (6) and Mila (2). This page is to raise funds for John to receive cancer treatment that is not yet funded by the government in the hopes it will give him a few more months to live. Keep reading to find out their story.


2012: Johns brother Perrin was diagnosed at the beginning of the year with an astrocytoma, a tumor on the brain. Perrin has undergone a few surgeries and is currently receiving regular checkups. In November Ava was born.

2014: John and Perrins Mum Heather was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She was strong and was always a person who would be there no matter what.

2015: John and Zara got married, this was a great year!

2016: In July Mila was born and in October John was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain tumors. John underwent major brain surgery to remove the tumor and followed that with radiation and chemotherapy. The silver lining is that the tumor disappeared.

2017: Mila was diagnosed at age 13months with a rare kidney condition called APRT deficiency. Mila was in and out of the hospital and had surgery to try combat this deficiency, she is able to manage this condition with medication, though has regular check-ups to ensure no complications occur.

2018: John's Mum Heather passed away, and 8 months later in 2019 John was diagnosed with a recurrence of his GBM.

Where we are now and how we got here:

John has been having regular MRI's and a few days after returning from Australia his MRI showed a possible recurrence. They booked a scan for 8 weeks later, giving time for whatever was there to grow enough to be seen. Unfortunately, John was admitted to Tauranga Hospital 6 weeks later after suffering seizures at home in their driveway. After having 3 seizures there was no doubt in John and Zaras mind that the tumor was back. The doctor then told them that in the 6 weeks since their last scan a tumor of 27mm had grown in the same place as the original one and there was another tumor on the other side of the brain which was 13mm. What has followed since is confirmation from multiple neurosurgeons and oncologists both in New Zealand and overseas, that the tumors are inoperable.

Since the discharge from hospital the public health system has let John and Zara down considerably and as a result of how little time they have left John and Zara are seeking private treatment. This treatment is not funded and is not going to cure John but we have hope it will give him longer to live and keep the tumors from growing at such an aggressive rate. Without their current private insurance getting them a consult at the Canopy Cancer Care clinic in Tauranga they would have had to wait another 3 weeks for a consult through the public system about what treatments to do, if any. Without any treatment, John has been given 6-8 weeks to live.

The public system is a joke and is in no hurry to help so John and Zara need our help to support them through this challenging time. They would be there for us if the roles were reversed. All of us wish this had never happened to them but since it has we are going to do everything we can to help them out with whatever they need. This page is just one way we are able to help. Any amount will help, even just $1.

Dana Russ' involvement (page creator)

My husband and I are best friends with John and Zaras. We are doing this page as a way for ourselves and everyone else who loves them to support John and Zara through difficult unfunded treatment.

Use of funds

The money will be spent on treatment for John with Avastin, Irinotecan and IV Vitamin C being the first drugs and further down the track possibly Keytruda. Any surplus will be given to the family to go towards supporting them down the line.

Latest update

Update image

Latest scan results  21 May 2019

Hi everyone,

Since our last update, John has had 2 rounds of Avastin and Irinotecan and starts his 3rd round tomorrow. He perked up after the first round and is much more like his normal self. He was able to be a groomsman in Gemma and James' wedding on the 11th May and even managed to party until the wee hours of the morning with us all! John had an MRI yesterday and the results came through today. This is Zara's update;

John had his scan yesterday morning and we saw the oncologist for his results this afternoon.

The scan had some good and bad news.

The bad news is that there is 4 tumors not the 2 we thought there were. The extra 2 are only tiny (4mm and 5mm) and were picked up on the previous scan before treatment started, we were just never told about them.

The great news is, all 4 tumors are exactly the same size as they were 3 weeks before the treatment started! Which says the tumors have not grown and possibly have shrunk (assuming they grew in the 3 weeks of no treatment) and most of the swelling has come down! Making John feel heaps better and his symptoms improving hugely.

Thank you, everyone, for the support and donations! We truly appreciate it and are still hoping for a miracle! We are on the right track ❤️

Read 2 more updates

Latest donations

  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor 3 days ago



  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 10 Jul 2019



  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 02 Jul 2019



  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 30 Jun 2019



  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 29 Jun 2019



Who's involved?

Dana Russ's avatar
Created by Dana Russ
Zara Dabrowski's avatar
Paying to a verified bank account of Zara Dabrowski on behalf of John & Zara Dabrowski

Page Moderated The page has been checked by our team to make sure it complies with our terms and conditions.


You can start a fundraiser to have your own page that raises money directly for Zara Dabrowski.


Got a question for the page owner?

2 questions have been asked already. Check them out and ask yours here.

Any concerns?

Report this page
This page was created on 19 Apr 2019 and closes on 20 Apr 2020.
$38,064 of $100,000 goal

Given by 511 generous donors in 12 weeks

  Donate Fundraise Share
Share a link to this page to help spread the word




  Copy Link