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HEARTBREAKING: Warwick mum given months to live

ULTIMATE GIFT: Stacey Rodgers (right) was given just three to six months to live after being diagnosed with a rare stomach cancer in September and now her best friend Suzette Benz (left) has offered to raise her three teenage daughters.
ULTIMATE GIFT: Stacey Rodgers (right) was given just three to six months to live after being diagnosed with a rare stomach cancer in September and now her best friend Suzette Benz (left) has offered to raise her three teenage daughters. Contributed

ONLY two months ago, Stacey Rodgers' life suddenly ground to a halt when she was told she may not live to celebrate Christmas with her five children.

The 39-year-old single mother was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare type of stomach cancer, which gave her only three to six months to live.

With three teenage daughters, a 10-year-old nephew and 21-year-old son, Ms Rodgers has no close family able to care for her children.

But now her incredibly generous friend is giving her the ultimate gift.

A fellow single mother, Suzette Benz offered to take in her children to raise alongside her own son and daughter.

Ms Benz said she did not even have to stop and think about taking care of the children.

"She's my best friend and if the tables were turned, she'd do the same thing," Ms Benz said.

Ms Rodgers had been unwell for months, experiencing a terrible pain in the ribs, hot sweats and nausea.

Doctors originally diagnosed ovarian cancer, but it wasn't until further tests were conducted that it was discovered the cancer in the ovaries was secondary and the true, devastating extent of the illness was revealed.

"I never really had much hope, I accepted it straight away," Ms Rodgers said.

"I was really scared because I thought I've got a lot to do, it's not my turn."

Ms Benz was the first person Ms Rodgers shared the diagnosis with and she has maintained positivity despite the odds.

"Stacey would come back with worse news and I would say, 'we can do this'," Ms Benz said.

A GoFundMe campaign has been created to help secure proper accommodation for the merging families, as they are all currently living in a modest three-bedroom home in Warwick.

"We've got warm food and hot showers, we don't want anything but a bigger house, we're not greedy," Ms Benz said.

"Neither of us ask for help."

"We're very proud and very capable," Ms Rodgers added.

More than $7000 has already been raised through the campaign, with the funds set to be used to extend the current home or explore other housing options.

The girls have already been living with Ms Benz for about a month.

"I wouldn't want them to be anywhere else," Ms Rodgers said.

"I know what's in Suzette's heart and she's going to do the best she can."

Ms Benz's mother, Lorraine Goldspink, has been staying with Ms Rodgers every single night at Warwick Hospital, holding her hand and helping her with everyday tasks such as showering.

"I don't have a mum and my sister lives far away," Ms Rodgers said.

"I wouldn't be able to cope (without Lorraine), realistically I really wouldn't."

Ms Rodgers said it was important to have a goal every day and right now that goal it to make it to Christmas.

She has spoken to each of her daughters individually, saying she did not want her death to ruin this festive season or any other.

"They know my death could happen any day, it could happen on December 24, but I don't want my death day to ruin Christmas," she said.

"I know I'm dying and I know my time could be up tomorrow and it's pretty f---ing scary.

To donate to Stacey and Suzette, go to www. gofundme.com/ suzettes-gift- to-dying-mum."

Topics:  cancer gofundme campaign single mum terminal cancer warwick hospital


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