Mike Gall is ask­ing com­mu­nity to givealit­tle

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - ABBY BROWN

Two weeks be­fore he was di­ag­nosed with a grade four brain tu­mour Mike Gall can­celled his life in­sur­ance.

The 48-year-old said he and his wife He­len couldn’t af­ford the pay­ments as they were only on one in­come due to his be­ing sick with terrible mi­graines.

When he first went to his doc­tor to find out what was caus­ing the pain, he was given some pain killers.

Soon they were so bad that he was vom­it­ing and un­able to get out of bed to go to work.

At CT scan was then or­dered and he went along to Waikato Hos­pi­tal ex­pect­ing to be back home that night.

In­stead the doc­tor said they’d found a mass and he was to stay in hos­pi­tal on mor­phine and steroids while the swelling in his brain went down.

‘‘I was quite shell shocked,’’ He­len said.

‘‘They said it had only been there about 8 weeks.’’

Dur­ing that week the tu­mour dou­bled in size.

Mike has now had a brain oper­a­tion to re­move as much of the mass and another to put in a shunt.

He’s also gone through ra­di­a­tion and chemo­ther­apy to tar­get the ‘‘fin­gers’’ of can­cer that are em­bed­ded in his brain and has one round left of free chemo­ther­apy.

Af­ter that, he has to fund his own treat­ment which en­tails a stronger chemo avail­able pri­vately in Auck­land.

That’s ex­pected to cost be­tween $30,000 and $40,000 or more.

De­spite hav­ing ‘‘teary mo­ments and ‘why us?’ times’’ the cou­ple were upbeat.

They were grate­ful to Mike’s daugh­ter Kirsty, their ‘‘rock’’, who has started a givealit­tle page to raise funds for Mike’s med­i­cal needs and any bucket list ac­tiv­i­ties he wanted to do.

So far $328 from ten donors has been raised through givealit­tle.co.nz/cause/ help­formike.

"The doc­tors said I was a fighter and had put up one of the big­gest fights they had ever seen,’’ Mike said.

And he’s de­cided to do just that.

They have planned a trip back to New Ply­mouth with his two grand­chil­dren so they can see where he grew up.

There was another grand­child due at the end of July.

‘‘He can’t go any­where un­til that is done,’’ He­len said. ‘‘He can’t go any­where full-stop; I won’t al­low it.’’

PHOTO: ABBY BROWN

Mike and He­len Gall want peo­ple to be aware that mi­graines, which Mike had been suf­fer­ing from, can be a sign of brain can­cer, which Mike has been di­ag­nosed with from this scan.

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