Life Health Features

Friday 22 August 2014

'I'll fight my pancreatic cancer my way' says Irish dad of one who has recorded 'fun' video for his baby daughter to watch after he dies

Majella O'Sullivan

Published 01/07/2014 | 08:16

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Danielle Faulconbridge and her husband Darren Mullery from Ardfert Co Kerry . Darren who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last August 2013 and has very little time left in this world . The couple have a baby called Noelle Mullery . 
Pic: Dominick Walsh/Eye Focus LTD
Danielle Faulconbridge and her husband Darren Mullery from Ardfert Co Kerry . Darren who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last August 2013 and has very little time left in this world . The couple have a baby called Noelle Mullery . Pic: Dominick Walsh/Eye Focus LTD

FACING a bleak prognosis like his there are not many who would decide to record a fun video clip about fighting cancer.

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But Darren Mullery is fighting cancer his way and wants to give hope to other sufferers that there still is life after a cancer diagnosis.

He also wants to leave a legacy for his baby daughter and show her how hard he fought to cling onto life to maximise their time together.

Darren received the devastating news he had pancreatic cancer on the eve of his 39th birthday and wedding anniversary in August, when his wife Danielle was four months pregnant with their first child.

In a heartbeat, the couple's overwhelming joy turned to heartbreak as they dealt with the news.

“I made a conscious decision this was not going to beat me. I just had too much to live for,” said the Tralee man, who first started to feel unwell in February 2013 and after a battery of tests was finally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer six months later, the so-called silent killer.

At that stage, his cancer was so advanced there was very little could be done for him medically.

He started chemotherapy in October, having undergone two surgeries first, but this was stopped in December because his platelets were so low.

In the midst of this, baby Noelle made her appearance on December 12, at a healthy 9lbs 7oz.

“It was the happiest day of my life and the first thing I did was count all her fingers and toes. After five minutes she had me wrapped around her little finger and it's been that way since. She's my angel,” he added.

Since then, life has consisted of lengthy hospital stays in the palliative care unit of Kerry General Hospital, and as much time at home with Noelle and Danielle as possible.

He does not know for certain how long he has left but says he's already defied the doctors.

“My whole outlook on life changed and I started trying to look for the positive in every situation. Sometimes it's hard and I can be a pig to live with but Noelle is my inspiration and my reason to get out of bed every day,” he added.

Before his illness, Darren's other passion in life was musical theatre and he's been a member of Tralee Musical Society since 1999. He describes this as his “other family”.

When approached by close friend, Rebecca Roche to make the video, he jumped at the chance as a last opportunity to perform.

Directed by Oliver Hurley and shot by videographer Tom Hannafin, and set to the music of 'Eye of the Tiger', the completed video was screened at the Siamsa Tire National Folk Theatre yesterday (SUN) for Darren, Danielle and their musical society family.

The video has now been uploaded on YouTube and they're hoping 'Fighting Cancer Darren's Way' goes viral and puts a smile on the faces of other cancer sufferers.

Irish Independent

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