Dr Noel, who is a doctor at the Auckland City Hospital, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009 and was given a 40 percent chance of surviving the next five years. The disease has since then spread to other parts of his body and a potential life-saving surgery in 2012 ended in a failure which meant that the 32-year old now has just a few months to live. While Dr Noel and his wife, Hannah Noel, had initially decided not to have a child, they changed their minds after Dr Noel's hopes of survival were dashed.
When his doctor suggested that Avastin could slow down the spread of the disease, giving him more time, Dr Noel and his friends set up an online appeal in order to raise the $60,000 that the treatment will require. His story has since been shared extensively on social media with more than $110,000 raised so far. Mrs Noel, who is also a doctor, is now 27 weeks pregnant and Dr Noel hopes that he will be able to survive until the delivery so that he can hold his daughter in his arms.
"I've always been a bit reluctant to ask for money, particularly when it doesn't change outcome. The cancer will still kill me. If it wasn't for her [the baby], we would do our best and let nature take its course. But all of a sudden months and weeks are the difference between meeting my daughter or not and maybe the difference between me having a few months with her or not. It means a lot to Hannah, as she'll get to see me holding her. I'm doing it mainly for Hannah and my daughter now", Dr Noel said.