Coast firefighter's eye opening cancer battle
NOT even a golf-ball-sized lump in his head could change popular Sunshine Coast firefighter Troy Harris's passion for life.
Mr Harris faces a do or die situation which could rob him of his eyesight and the life he cherishes.
The Cootharaba man and rural firefighter went to the doctors for a simple sinus operation when he was first told he had a brain tumour.
At the time, doctors said it "wouldn't grow" and lie dormant. That was a few years ago.
Recently, a second consultation with world-renowned surgeon Dr Charlie Teo told how grave a reality it actually was.
While the tumour isn't likely to be cancerous, it has attached itself to an optical nerve, engulfing the eye.
The father of two is now faced with $100,000 best-in-the-business surgery, called minimally invasive neurosurgery, in Sydney to remove the lump.
"The bigger it gets, the more pressure it puts on my brain," he said.
"They said it will always grow, and within two years be a huge problem. Dr Teo guaranteed it had to come out.
"He uses fascinating technology, just a small cut behind the ear. Whereas if I were to have an operation here, half my skull is removed."
Mr Harris is the type of man used to helping others, not seeking assistance, and feels awkward just asking for help.
He works full-time installing screens, blinds and awnings, and volunteers for the firies when he can.
Mr Harris's family has created a GoFundMe page to help raise funds - more than $10,000 has been raised, an indication of his popularity.
"It is all very overwhelming. So many people have offered to help out, my phone's been off the hook," he said.
"I feel quite funny asking for help, as I'm not really feeling the effects right now, but if I leave it, well...
"Not to big note myself, but I'm far more used to helping other people, not myself.
"But I can't dwell on it. I wouldn't say I'm scared of it, you just take it as it comes.
"Right now I am still able to keep doing everything I do."
To go with the GoFundMe Page, a fundraiser at the CWA Hall in Cooroy has been organised for April 28 as well.
To donate, go to The Troy Harris Appeal on Facebook.