All Clinton Tata wants this Christmas is time.
Seeing his six children on Christmas morning is his ultimate wish.
The 36-year-old father-of-five has been battling kidney cancer since August.
The disease has now spread to his abdomen and lungs and his doctors have given him limited time.
Clinton and wife Gloria's children are aged 7 to 14 and they have custody of his 2-year-old nephew. They were all living happily in a six-bedroom house in Wattle Downs before Clinton was given the grim diagnosis. He and Gloria both had good jobs at the Auckland Council's Manukau office.
Clinton had qualified for funded gastric sleeve surgery in 2011. At his heaviest he was 153kg and his weight fell to 82kg after the surgery.
The couple thought his dramatic weight loss was because of the gastric band but in fact it was kidney cancer.
Clinton's right kidney was removed but the disease meant both of them had to give up work. Clinton didn't have life insurance. They could no longer pay the bills and the family had to move in with Gloria's parents.
The grandparents sleep in the garage while the family lives in their two-bedroom Manurewa home - 10 people in the tiny house.
"I feel that I have failed my job as a father. I don't care about me, it's my children. My goal is to live longer for my kids. Ever since I have had children everything has been for their benefit," Clinton says.
The family can't really afford to buy Christmas presents for the kids this year but Clinton is selling some personal items to pay for gifts.
"Christmas is really hard. I need to get my family to a place where they will be OK after I've gone. If I go now, with them being so young, they won't understand."
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Tata family is trying to raise the money to pay for specialised treatment overseas to fight the cancer in Clinton's lungs and abdomen.
They're seeking targeted radiotherapy treatment offered in Melbourne and another treatment in Germany that will remove the tumours. So far they have raised $1800 and Gloria's workmates have given a further $900.
Go to givealittle.co.nz/member/fight4life to make a donation.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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