Jack, my son, was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM, brain cancer) on 8 July 2016. He died last year. He was just 21. I had six boys but now I only have five.
I promised Jack I would save his life and I would write a book, raise money for brain cancer research and fund a cure. The book is the only promise I could keep. The book is called Jack's story and was written over many painful nights with whisky and tissues and little else.
I have also created a website in Jack’s memory and to provide some context as to why I had to write the book (www.jacksstory.com.au).
The book was launched on 9 May 2019 at Fullers Bookshop, Hobart, by Senator Catryna Bilyk and attended by the Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman (https://jacksstory.com.au/book-launch/).
Catryna has been a tireless supporter of funding for rare cancers, particularly brain cancer and raises more money for brain cancer research in Tasmania than anyone else. Will was sadly touched by the loss of his very closest friend, Vanessa Goodwin (the ex-Tasmanian Attorney General), who also succumbed to GBM early last year.
As a parent I am in a world of hurt and I failed Jack. There is nothing anyone can say or do that will change that dynamic. As Jack’s neurosurgeon often quipped, it is what it is but it doesn't make me feel any better. Guilt is my burden and I thought no matter the odds, I will beat this. Jack believed me too and right up to the point he stopped believing or understanding anything.
I had a son who died and I wrote a book to honour a promise but with the aim to sell 1M copies and fund a cure for brain cancer.
Not sure how to do that but I don't like failing.