Michael Faulds, 28, suffers a rare form of cancer.
The Sanctuary Point man was diagnosed with Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma in 2013, part of the sarcoma family. He has undergone five operations, five rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and many weeks in hospital. His body is covered in tumours.
His cancer is terminal but on Sunday, March 12 his community came together to make sure he enjoys a holiday with partner Megan Barnes next month, cruising to Hawaii, New Caledonia, Tahiti and Bora Bora.
The surprise fundraiser was held at Plantation Point in Vincentia and raised $10,000.
Locals Jayde Tooth and Dale Berry, along with their partners Rachel Barnes and Shelby Berry and Michael’s friends Tracey Coulton and Adam Coulton organised the event and thanked everyone who donated their time, money and prizes to be auctioned. Seventeen people shaved their heads at the fundraiser, including Tracey Coulton and Theresa Andrews, raising $2500.
While nerves were running high as the locks fell, Theresa put things in perspective.
“At the end of the day it is just hair. It doesn't matter. And Michael deserve this more than anyone,” she said.
Football jerseys were also auctioned off by Michael’s friend Brendan Latarche, raising $1750. A game of football was also enjoyed, with everyone chipping in $20 to play.
To end the day, a "wax off" was held. Organisers said it was one of the “funniest parts of the day”, with many of the boys waxing their armpits for an $80 donation. Michael thanked everyone who attended and supported the event.
"It has been so hard. But you guys make it all worth it and I love you all,” he said.
His partner Megan said Michael has remained strong.
“No matter how sick he is feeling, he always puts on a brave face. Even if he hasn't slept in days because of the pain,” she said
“Not all days are good but he remains extremely positive."
Melissa Barnes joined the fundraiser on the weekend and said she was overwhelmed by the community support shown.
“This fundraiser shows how compassionate and generous the people from the South Coast can be. We don't have access to all the resources that people have in the big cities but the community is so strong,” she said.
“The money that was raised will change Michael's life. His cancer has left him with so many uncertainties about his future, but now he will be able to create so many memories with his family.
“Which he said is the most important thing in the world to him right now.”