Adrian Dorward is facing death - but he's also found love.
Two years ago, the father of two boys was living in Auckland, working in sales and marketing with great career opportunities and a bright future ahead of him.
But one morning he woke up covered in weepy sores, and ended up spending two weeks in hospital, being treated for a skin infection.
He was later diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.
Following his diagnosis, Mr Dorward had chemotherapy before coming to Hamilton for treatment at the Waikato Regional Cancer Centre.
He spent nine weeks having radiation therapy and stayed at the Cancer Society's Lions Lodge, which provides free accommodation, meals, transport and support for people undergoing treatment.
"Going through cancer treatment was tough. In addition I had to come to a strange city where I didn't know anyone, which was pretty scary."
But during his radiation treatment, Mr Dorward had another life-changing moment. He was heading to an appointment at Waikato Hospital when he walked past the woman who would become the love of his life.
Vicky Sayer was at the hospital for her final treatment for breast cancer. While they didn't speak, later that day she tracked him down at the Lions Lodge.
"It was one of those crazy moments when the stars align. I walked in the lodge doors after lunch and Vicky was looking for me at reception.
"Having cancer has been horrible, the kind of stuff you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy, but I wouldn't change a thing about my life because it led me to Vicky."
Unfortunately cancer wasn't finished with Mr Dorward. Earlier this year the couple found out his illness had returned - and this time it was terminal.
It was devastating news for the pair, who had started making long-term plans for their life together.
"We couldn't believe it. In an instant, our plans had gone up in smoke."
For anyone affected by cancer, Mr Dorward has some advice: "Whatever else you do, ask for help. It can be really hard to ask but trust me, it'll be the best thing you do."
He is also calling on people to support the society, a charitable organisation with no direct government funding, by making a donation to them today - Daffodil Day.
Daffodil Day is the society's annual appeal. Volunteers will be collecting for the appeal today although donors can also make an instant $20 donation by phoning 0900 311 11; or a $3 donation by texting "daffodil" to 305.
People can also donate online at www.daffodilday.org.nz.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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