By Victoria Stone-Meadows
A Berwick family are working hard together to realise the dream of 15-year-old Nathan Forsyth who has been battling osteosarcoma for three years.
Nathan’s family have rallied around him, and will be holding a community trivia and games night to raise funds for Nathan and his mother Eli Collcutt.
Nathan was first diagnosed with bone cancer in his femur and underwent surgery to have 20cm of his growth plate removed.
He has since undergone more surgeries to correct the length of his leg before it was discovered the cancer had metastasized in his lungs, and he had half of one of his lungs removed.
His mother Eli Collcutt said there had been countless times her son has amazed her with his resilience, but it was the time he had a section of bone removed from his leg that stands out for her.
“I remember standing beside him outside theatre as the anaesthetist was about to put Nathan to sleep before his surgery to remove the cancer from his femur,” she said.
“After his 13-hour marathon surgery, he woke and asked the nurse if he had plan A or plan B, and she had no idea what he was asking, so she came looking for me.”
“He was coming in and out of consciousness as I walked over, I said you had plan A, you have your leg and I watched as the tears rolled down the side of his face.”
Even before his surgery, Nathan was composed and calm in a way many 13-year-old boys are not, and Ms Collcutt said she couldn’t have been more proud of her son.
“As I held back tears, I wanted to say to Nathan ‘scream, shout, do whatever you want. You have every right to be angry, fearful, nervous, upset and ask why is this happening to me?’.”
“But I said nothing as I watched him deal with a situation better than anyone I know, and I stood there in absolute awe and knew at that point he was my hero.”
Nathan’s cousin Melinda Wright said it was a shock to everyone in the family when they found out last year that Nathan’s cancer had come back.
“In December, just a few weeks before Christmas, we found out that Nathan had his cancer back, and it was in his bad lung and his clean lung as well,” she said.
It was then that Melinda, Eli and Nathan’s Aunty Ibi Monaghan decided to reach out the community to help make Nathan’s life more comfortable and grant his wish of riding a giant roller coaster.
The family are hoping they can raise enough money to take Nathan and his family to the Magic Mountain Six Flags amusement park in California.
“The money from the fund-raiser will go to Nathan and his family,” Ms Wright said.
“Our first goal is to get him to Magic Mountain because he wants to go on a big roller coaster.”
“We are also just trying to get him to have fun with family before his next surgery in July.”
Ms Wright said Nathan’s resilience in the face of this terrible disease had seen his family, friends and even local businesses come together to help out in any way they could.
“He’s a hero in all of our eyes,” she said.
“He is so positive, so inspirational; he never lets the cancer get him down and he keeps toughing through it.”
If you would like to help Nathan’s dream come true, you can book your table or tickets to the trivia and games night fund-raiser being held in Berwick on Saturday 25 March.
Every person that buys a ticket and attends the fund-raiser will go into a draw to win the door prize on the night of a luxury accommodation package at Crown Promenade Melbourne.
To book your ticket for the night for individual seats or a private table of 10, contact Ibi Monaghan on 0418 811 065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To book, you must include your name, phone number, email and postal address.
Tickets cost $20 per person and payments can be made directly to:
Once your payment has been received, your ticket/s will be emailed to you.
If you are unable to attend the trivia/games night but would like to make a donation, visit:
If you have a business and would like to donate a special product or service to be used as a prize or that can be sold at auction on the night, contact Ibi Monaghan on the number given above.