From a Husband and Father

Lo’u tuafafine e, la’u uo e, la’u lupe e, 
Le ua sao ona lelei
Tatala mai ia le puipui ia te a’u
Aua ua susu lo’u ulu i le sau
O’u lauulu foi i le ma’ulu o le sau i le po
Pese a Solomona 5: 2 Bible 

When I first heard that Ngaire had cancer, it felt like I’d been K.O.’d by David Tua. While I was trying to be strong for Ngaire, it felt like my whole world had fallen apart. Then survival mode kicked in, and I started thinking and praying about what I could do to get our family through this. In hindsight, one of the crucial things I had to do was to tell people, friends, family, and especially our employer. I found this really difficult, because I didn’t want people to feel sorry for us, and Ngaire was the same, but overcoming that pride made things so much easier in the long run.


Image Above: The 2011 Uso Bike Ride from Auckland to Porirua

I don’t think accepting help comes easily for most men, but people genuinely want to help, and you will genuinely need it. Think of it as doing them a favour, you would do the same for them.

I was really lucky that my employer was so understanding, as I needed a lot of time off to go to appointments and had to work from home often to look after our son if Ngaire needed to sleep. I also had to accept that there is no quick-fix, and it was going to be a long road.

My priorities would have to change for a while, it didn’t matter if the lawns didn’t get mowed, if I couldn’t get on my bike or go out so much.

O a’u o le fuga o le la’au i Sarona
O le susana i vanu
E pei o le susana i totonu o laau talatala
O lo’o fa’apea la’u uo i teine
E pei o le moli i totonu o la’au o le vao
O lo’o fa’apea lo’u manamea i taulele’a
Na ou fiafia i lona paolo, ma ou nofo ai
Na suamalie foi ona fua i lou gutu
Na ia aumaia a’u i le fale uaina
O lana fu’a i o’u luga, o le alofa lea.
Pese a Solomona 2. 1- 4. (Bible)

Once I accepted that getting my family through this was my number one priority, and I would have to let a few things go, it became a lot easier.

It’s not all bad news either, I got to spend a lot of time with my family, after each treatment, we’d go out for a coffee and we’ve had some great times together.

I was incredibly lucky that my wife is such a strong person and kept positive through it all, and that we had such strong and practical support from our families and friends.

Mark Lerwill

O Eva, o le masiofo o le lalolagi
Aua na pule ia i mea ta’itasi
Ae o le poloa’i a le Atua
Le la’au o le ola ia lua manatua
Aua lava nei lua pa’i pe a’ai ai
O le la’au e ola pe oti ai
Peita’i Eva ua faasese e le gata
Le gata ma si ona leo e pei o se pata
Ua ai e Eva le fua o le la’au
Vala’au loa Atamu sei sau
Ua a’ai ma ua malaia toalua
Fafo loa ma le ma’afala
Ua saunoa mai ai le Atua
Fereni Ete