help out recovering brain tumour patient and his fiancee

Closed Cause page created in the New Zealanders category by Nathan Ker for Michelle Fowler

  • $172.00 donated
  • 5 generous donors

23 year old NZ man had a brain tumor, has been battling constant seizures and cant work or get any benefits in Australia and needs your help

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Family Support Tragedy

story taken from

I was born in Nelson and have lived in Australia for two years.

After working as a labourer for almost two years I was offered the opportunity to become a digger operator.

At 23, I was at home one day and my left side went numb. I couldn't move it.

My younger brother, Jordan, came home and thought I'd had a stroke. He had to convince me to go to a doctor because I can be quite stubborn.

I went the next day and they thought it was a form of severe migraine, but sent me to get CT scans. Nothing showed up and I thought I was fine, until the migraines started.

I had already seen a neurologist and he had prescribed me heaps of different migraine medications to no effect, so I just toughed it out.

Some days I'd only get a few hours' sleep a night. I'd wake up in the middle of the night in agony. It would feel like I had a knife inside of my head, and the pain and pressure on my right eye was incredible.

This pain went on for eight months straight. I was missing home and really thought about heading back to New Zealand.

I signed up to a few dating sites and ended up meeting a beautiful woman named Rikki Milne.

I'm a hip-hop artist and she's a drummer, so we thought we could work together even if other things didn't work out. From the moment I met her I somehow knew she was the one who could help my migraines disappear by making all my problems seem like they didn't exist.

After knowing her for only three weeks, it happened again.

My left side went numb. I was struggling to talk. Fear struck me harder than it ever had. I was trying to explain to Rikki that it was all normal and a side-effect of my migraines. I could see the fear in her eyes too.

This time the numbness and paralysis didn't last just minutes. I rang my mum, who is a neuro nurse and all I remember her saying was "call an ambulance".

Rikki took the next day off work so she could be by my side. My brother, Jordan, and mum, Sharon, both did the same.

I had a CT scan and then was told I needed to do another one with contrast dye injected into me. That's when I knew something was wrong.

Then the doctor walked in.

All I remember is her saying: "I am very sorry and there is no right way to explain this but you have a large tumour in the right side of your brain."

There were no words.

I had to have an MRI.

I told Rikki I couldn't be with her anymore as I was not able to put someone through what I thought I was about to go through.

She said it would take a security guard to drag her out of there.

I have no idea what kind of pain Rikki would have been in watching it all unfold - my family members were crying on my shoulder while I was sitting in a wheelchair - having to do all this without really even knowing me.

She ended up having to hold me up in the shower, dress me and do everything I couldn't do with only one side of my body working. This is now why I call her my other half.

When I went for my MRI the doctor made the mistake of leaving my CT scan on my bed. I read that the prognosis was a glioma and I instantly Googled to find glioma survival rates were a 30 per cent for more than a year, and 15 per cent for more than two years.

I told Rikki that if I made it out of that hospital alive I was going to marry her as soon as I had enough money to put a rock on her finger.

Then right before the scan she walked in and knelt down beside my bed with a lollipop ring in her hand from the cafeteria downstairs and said: "I don't need a ring ... Nathan will you marry me?"

I instantly said yes.

After the MRI it was a waiting game for a day or two to find out the results. The doctor told me I was a very lucky man, as it turned out my tumour was actually a meningioma, which is normally only found in the elderly.

Just one week after I was diagnosed, it was time to have my surgery. The neurosurgeon told me there was a 20 per cent chance I'd never move my left side again and an even higher chance I'd never get the same sort of movement in my left side.

I barely remember much from hospital. I just remember having tubes and lines put throughout my arms then waking up being wheeled to the recovery room.

I looked at my left side, too scared to move it, then I just open my mouth and start rapping a song I had written and tears started streaming down my face. I looked down and moved the toes on my left side and then my hands. I started saying in absolute happiness, "I can move my left side!" over and over again.

The recovery was hard. I had to learn to walk again. I told Rikki to wait at the end of the hospital hall. I struggled so hard but took my first steps to her and she carried me back to my granny walker.

I was released from hospital and she looked after me the whole time when I couldn't look after myself. I had found the most amazing woman in the world and couldn't understand why she loved me, but she did and over the next few weeks I slowly regained my strength.

Mum and Rikki paid for everything because being a Kiwi I cannot get benefits here in Australia. I hated not being able to help them so I managed to get some hours at Rikki's work, thinking I was fully recovered and really wanting to get my independence back.

But one day at work my head went blank and I couldn't even fold a box. I felt like my brain had just stopped working and I couldn't talk properly. Rikki rushed me back to hospital.

I was having non-convulsive seizures, which happened at random. I couldn't do simple tasks or see friends because I was ashamed of not being able to talk properly. I was back to having my family and fiance pay for everything.

In recent times my seizures have stopped, after constantly trying different medications.

Rikki and I are still in love and are inseparable. She is truly my other half.

I'm so happy that all this led to me meeting the love of my life and soulmate.

I've promised her I'll fly her back to our beautiful country New Zealand one day for a holiday.

I owe my thanks to my mum and brother, Sharon and Jordan Ker, my fiancee Rikki and her mother and father Pnina Rosenberg and Troy Milne for accepting me as a son, and the rest of my family and friends for being there for me since day-one.

This page is to raise money to travel back to NZ to see family and friends while recovering. But if we don't raise enough to come back to new zealand, it will be used for costs (food expensive neurology appointments etc) as I can't get any benefits in Australia being a kiwi citizen and have been finding it very hard to make ends meet.

Page created by:

Nathan Ker


Nathan Ker - in September 2014 I found out I had a brain tumor and I am now in recovery

All funds raised benefit:

Michelle Fowler

Funds will be paid to a verified bank account of Michelle Fowler.

  • $172.00 donated
  • 5 generous donors

$172 donated

Open goal


This cause page was created on 14 Mar 2015 and closed at 16:32 NZST (UTC +12:00) on 15 Apr 2015.

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