Family reeling after Gympie teacher’s shock cancer diagnosis
Beloved Gympie region teacher, volleyball coach and fisherman Dave Arthur has been diagnosed with advanced renal cell cancer.
The 43-year-old has long been a popular of the wider Gympie region community though his work with family business Rainbow Escape Charters, as well as teaching at Tin Can Bay State School and James Nash State High School.
Family and friends of Dave are reeling in the wake of the shock diagnosis, which was set in motion when he realised he had lost considerable weight on a recent skydiving trip.
He mentioned the weight loss to his doctor when getting checked out for a shoulder injury he had suffered at work, and went through a number of tests as a result.
Dr Andrew Spall at Rainbow Beach General Practice eventually gave Dave the bad news.
He had a sizeable tumour on his kidneys, which had metastasised and spread to his lungs.
Dave's wife Suzie said the family had an anxious wait to find out whether the cancer in his lungs can be treated.
"We're still waiting for the results, we don't know much about the next part of the journey as yet, we're expecting to get some results in the next few days," Suzie said.
"He had surgery to remove the tumour from his kidneys on Wednesday, they sent the tumour away to find out what it is, we've won the first battle and we're just waiting for the next battle.
"It's very scary at the moment, and we just don't know. If it's not clear cell it's not good."
Suzie said the family were grateful for Dr Spall's efforts, as well as the support they had received from their community since learning the news.
She said interim operations at Rainbow Escape Charters would be left to their "wonderful" team led by skipper Luke Rafton.
"Dr Spall has been amazing, he really has gone above and beyond. Not even the doctors at the hospital can believe he went to these extremes," she said.
"Luke's been amazing, the staff at James Nash have been amazing too.
"We've had nothing but amazing offers for help. I just don't know what to say at the moment. We're still trying to figure a lot of things out. I've never asked for help before and we don't know where this journey is going to go next."