Patrick Newton was my brother.
Not in the conventional by-blood sense, though we share a half-brother, but we were raised together, we loved each other and we had each other's back. This in my opinion is a more meaningful definition of brotherhood.
He was a family man first, the most generous christmas presents, food-based care packages, always looking our for his Mum, sisters and brothers when they needed him. And they did.
What broke my heart was the speed with which this disease took him, just a few short weeks after diagnosis, and the inability for any of us to have his back in return.
As a patient and family-led organisation, Bowel Cancer New Zealand is critical for supporting families like ours and fostering research and awareness to lessen the impact of this awful disease.
So please get yourself checked, donate if you want (either on this page or anywhere else) and be aware that bowel cancer is real, it can strike anyone and it hits hard.