Muscle-bound fitness fanatic’s innocuous ‘nerve pain’ turns out to be TERMINAL brain cancer – as he sells everything he owns so he can travel to Australia in a last-ditch bid for survival
- Levi Holley’s health steadily deteriorated before he was diagnosed with cancer
- Has an inoperable brain tumour but is selling his belongings to pay for treatment
- Mr Holley hopes to travel to Australia for advanced treatment not offered in NZ
- Friends and family encouraging people to donate on GoFundMe or GiveALittle
Levi Holley (pictured), from Auckland, was diagnosed with a brain tumour
An aspiring actor and competitive arm wrestler is trying to sell his prized possessions to raise money for cancer treatment after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.
Levi Holley, from Auckland, said his heath steadily deteriorated for about two months while he and his doctor tried to find the source of his nerve pain.
The 44-year-old was repeatedly dismissed by medical professionals before a doctor in the emergency department at his local hospital decided to conduct a routine CT scan to ‘tick all of the boxes’.
The scan revealed Mr Holley had an inoperable brain tumour about the size of an apricot on the middle of his brain.
A month on from the diagnosis, Mr Holley spends most of his time either in pain or sleeping as a result of the high doses of pain medication he takes.
Once a ‘fun loving, fitness orientated, tough guy’, Mr Holley’s ‘sole purpose is to now survive.’
Mr Holley has been in and out of hospital since his diagnosis as doctors try to work out the best course of action
Mr Holley has been a valued member of his community in Auckland since he was 18, volunteering as the coach for local sporting clubs and giving his time to charity events.
He regularly dresses up as Batman to charity events and children’s birthdays in his local area, and the costume is considered one of his most prized possessions.
But Mr Holley is now looking to sell the extravagant get up, along with his car and anything else he owns of value, in an attempt to raise money for his treatment.
‘I am only getting $300 a week on the sickness benefit,’ Mr Holley told his friends and family in a social media video.
‘I’m going to try to sell everything I’ve got to give myself the best chance at life.’
He released a video documenting his struggles since the diagnosis more than a month ago
Mr Holley has always kept himself fit and healthy and competed in arm wrestling
Family and friends have also encouraged Mr Holley to launch a GoFundMe and GiveALittle account.
‘I really struggled with whether to make a go fund me or give a little. It goes against the way I see who I am,’ he said.
‘I like to think that I help people, not that I am the one needing the help.’
Mr Holley said he realised the prognosis was ‘going to be bad’ as soon as the nurse came in to his room, hours after the scan and after he’d sent home his support person, Hannah.
‘The nurse then came in and said: ”Do you want someone with you when the doctor talks to you?” That’s when I knew I was f**ked… that I knew the news was going to be terrible.
‘The doctor looked like it was the worst day of his life.
‘He sits me down and he says ‘unfortunately we’ve found a large mass in the middle of your brain. Its in a real bad place. Its inoperable. And that was the beginning of this.’
Mr Holley required a biopsy, in which samples were taken and sent to labs in Australia to better understand the nature of the tumour. Pictured: Scar from the biopsy
Mr Holley said his best friend Hannah (pictured right) has been a pillar of support throughout his diagnosis
The nerve pain on the right side of his body has only got worse in recent weeks.
Mr Holley required a biopsy, in which samples were taken and sent to labs in Australia to better understand the nature of the tumour.
He is still waiting on the final result.
In the next couple of weeks, Mr Holley will begin chemotherapy and radiation in order to treat the cancer, but he is hoping to raise money to travel to Australia for more sophisticated treatment options.
‘Australia has an advanced device called a “Gamma Knife” that can treat brain tumours that isn’t available in New Zealand,’ his GoFundMe page reads.
‘There are also treatments available in America, Canada and Europe that are a possibility. No procedure is off the table.’