A LARGE crowd gathered on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the life of a devoted family man who remained positive even when confronted with the staggering odds against him.
Shell Cove resident Duncan Meadley died on Friday, June 20, aged 43; a year to the day since being diagnosed with cancer.
Mr Meadley was diagnosed with stage four gastroesophageal cancer, with metastases in his lungs, liver, lymph nodes and aorta.
Doctors informed him his estimated chance of survival was at best 0.1 per cent.
In January, three brain tumours were discovered when Mr Meadley wrote off his car in an accident.
While undergoing treatment, he had been spending time with wife/carer, Gabrielle, and sons Ronan, 12, Rorey, 9, and Maxwell, 6.
In February, England-born Mr Meadley told the Lake Times he had always remained positive, and hoped his story could inspire others.
He participated in the survivors’ walk at this year’s Shellharbour Relay for Life, raising more than $5000 for the Cancer Council.
Speaking the day prior to his death, Mrs Meadley said her husband’s condition had vastly deteriorated during the previous two weeks.
The funeral service took place at Hansen and Cole, Kembla Grange.
Mr Meadley’s brother Grant gave the eulogy.
He joked about his brother’s sense of humour, and exploits as a junior sportsman.
Grant Meadley described him as a “leader and exceptional all-round student”, and later, a devoted family man.
“Even in the last months of his life, he provided his family many memorable experiences,” he said.
He said his brother, who had a Bachelor of Commerce/accounting degree, continued to operate his own business after being diagnosed to benefit his family’s future.
“I believe he’s at ease… He has provided for his family.”
Recently the business helped Mr Meadley in providing for his family by rallying Backyard Blitz style, to try and fulfil a final wish.
Mrs Meadley said the family had planned to have a pool built at their home, with the aim of allowing Mr Meadley, who suffered from hand-foot syndrome to have some form of exercise.
“It meant a lot to Duncan; this is kind of his legacy,” Mrs Meadley said of the pool.
“This means a lot to him, to know he’s leaving his boys a nice home.”
Innovative Pools and Spas owner Shannon Micallef called on business contacts to provide discounted quotes and supplies and in some instances free labour to get the work finished.
The goal was to have it completed in time for Mr Meadley to see its completion.
Unfortunately, his rapid deterioration meant it was completed the day after his death.
“He feels like he can die happy because he’s left a legacy for the boys,” Mrs Meadley said last week.
“The boys’ schooling is safe, the house is safe financially.
“He’s accepting of it… But he’s devastated at leaving his boys.
“He feels like his life’s been his bucket list.”