Beautifully written piece by Cameron Battley - one of James's friends ❤️ 8 April 2021 New
My mate had some shit news recently.
Billie and I met James and his fiancée Tasmin through our dogs on Lyall bay. They quickly became good friends of ours, and probably the first friends we made in Wellington that didn’t have a connection to work.
Took a couple of months before they told us he had cancer, and that was only because they let slip some good news on the treatment he had been going through at the time. I mean he’s that kind of guy, one of those fellas that laughs and jokes and has good chat, and the whole time never saying a damn thing about going bare knuckle with the reaper every day. That when we’d met him he wasn’t expecting to live out the year. None of that, just the giddy happiness that he wanted to share that things had taken a turn for the better.
Then... he actually John Wick’d the reaper! He beat it! Stage 4 lymphatic!
I mean he was in the clear!
It was gone!
He looked the reaper in the eye and smiled! While gently cranking up his middle finger! Over the next couple of months he got colour in his face, started getting out and about more, went on holiday with Tas and their dog Quinn. He even helped tile the shower we were putting in. Yup he really is “that” kind of a legend.
But just like every movie villain, when you think it’s over, the last lines been said, the glasses have been clinked, and the protagonist tired and bruised but definitely not beaten, finally sits down to rest... then... after the celebrating... f***ing THEN... out of the shadows on an X-ray... the f-er came back.
The real nasty twist tho? James and Tasmin had made plans to get married, they started to make plans for the future, something they had never allowed themselves to do... they had stood by each other and fought the demon and won... If you have a soul you gotta feel it wrench like a cold fist in your gut at that.
As an even bigger kick in the unmentionables, PHARMAC, the company that controls the therapy James needs to fight the reaper again, won’t fund him for the trial. Apparently his case isn’t “special enough” for trials. So this young couple, who have spent years fighting for the slimmest of hopes with very little income or support, who thought it was over. Finds out it’s not, and the company with the medication won’t subsidise this awesome dude, for a chance to spend the rest of his life with his soon to be wife. I mean, who’s got a spare 100k just kicking around after years of cancer treatments? Am I right?
I’m pissed off. I’m enraged. But this guy just shrugs his shoulders, laughs, and tries to figure out how he can spend as much time as he can with family and friends, between treatments and recovery from treatments, maybe do some things NOW because there’s a definite limit on how much “later” he has.
So I’m asking you my friends, to throw the price of a single small luxury in the direction of this “give a little”, for the life of my mate James, who although you haven’t met, is not a stranger.
Even if you don’t know James, what’s the price of a life? Would you throw down the cost of a pack of smokes? The price of a beer? A bottle of wine?
I’m sharing this because he’s my mate, because I’d write this for you if I needed to, because there’s no amount too small to give for the life of another human being, if enough people give.
Each and every one of you that I know are the type of person to pause and help someone up thats down.
I’m asking you to pause today.