A Sydney father-to-be who will lose his tongue to cancer before the birth of his first child has made an inspirational declaration to soldier on with his upcoming surgery.
Emergency services worker Sean Finnerty was recently diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma – a rare cancer in the salivary glands.
The 15-year survival rate of patients in Australia is 40 per cent.
In coming weeks he will have his tongue removed, leaving him unable to ever speak to the baby boy his wife Jess will give birth to in October.
Sean Finnerty (pictured, right, with his wife Jess) was diagnosed months after the couple discovered they were expecting their first child. Their baby boy is due in October
But his father Stephen Finnerty said the frightening prospect has not quashed his positive outlook.
‘The morning after he received the shitty news I rang Jess to see how they were,’ Mr Finnerty wrote in a Go Fund Me page dedicated to his son’s cancer battle.
‘She said they were laying in bed and Sean was reading up on good Glossectomy outcomes.’
‘He then said “come on Jess ,we know what is happening now. Let’s get up and deal with it”.’
The shocking diagnosis came months after he and his wife of almost two years found out they were expecting their first child.
Sean will be unable to speak or work as a fireman or paramedic again after he undergoes surgery to remove his tongue (pictured with wife Jess on holidays in Hawaii two years ago)
As well as from losing the ability to communicate verbally, Mr Finnerty will also be unable to eat solid food for the unforeseeable future.
He will also be forced to give up his career as a fireman and paramedic, unable to ever work again in either profession.
‘By the time their baby boy is born, Sean will have had surgery and radiation to attempt to limit the chance of the cancer returning,’ the Go Fund Me page states.
‘Sean will miss being able to ever talk to his little boy by a matter of weeks.’
The fundraising page to help relieve the massive financial burden facing Mr Finnerty and his wife in the future has already raised almost $170,000 in six days.
‘He will need support from his loved ones to get through this and if we could somewhat relieve the financial burden it will help tremendously with the stress he’s already dealing with,’ organiser Luke Rogerson wrote.
‘Sean is one of the most selfless people I have ever met, throughout this whole ordeal he just worries more about how his family is than himself.
Almost $170,000 has already been raised to ease financial pressure on the parents-to-be (pictured, together)
Mr Rogerson has been overwhelmed by the support that has flooded the fundraising page has recent days.
‘This is incredible, the love and support Sean has received from all of you… I can’t even put the feelings into words,’ he wrote.
‘Sean and his family are overwhelmed, it’s beautiful to see. So many generous people I can’t even begin to explain how much this will help Sean though this difficult time.’
Stephen Finnerty thanked everyone who has donated and for the kind messages of support Jess and Sean have received.
‘Sean has told me that he is embarrassed, humbled but so grateful to receive all these well wishes,’ Mr Finnerty wrote.
‘[He] has been an inspiration to us all with his attitude and how positive he is under pretty cr**y circumstances to put it mildly.’
‘As parents we couldn’t be prouder of the way the family has pulled together.
‘We love you Sean and Jess and will be there with you all the way.’