Time with children precious: father of year battles cancer
STORYTELLING is one of Stephen Gellatly's favourite moments with his children.
It's a joy for Stephen to read to his four daughters and son every night, and it's a job he never passes up.
It's the tender moments parents need to appreciate, Stephen says, and he knows all too well that time is precious.
Six weeks ago the Emerald Baptist Church Pastor was diagnosed with rectal cancer and is undergoing treatment in Brisbane.
"We're really just trusting in God and that's all we can do," he said.
This week Stephen was announced as Central Queensland's Father of the Year by the Scripture Union Queensland.
But Stephen says the award should be going to his wife Deb, who is a champion when it comes to their children.
"We married in 2006 after a whirlwind romance of nine months and we had our first child in 2009," he said.
Stephen was keen for six children, while his wife was thinking about having only two, but Stephen says once they had two children all they could think about was expanding their brood.
"(Kids) are such a blessing," he said.
"You can't have children without realising you need to be there for them and we are so grateful for our children."
Stephen is reminding parents not to get too caught up in life and appreciate every moment with their children, as his health battle brought that reality home.
"You don't want to give up any opportunity you can have with your family; and I know it takes a situation like this to appreciate that fact, but what's come home to me is to remind people there's no guarantees for anyone," Stephen said.
"We can get so busy and lost in the middle of life.
"Whether we have a year, 10 years or 40 years, every day is a gift and blessing."