Friends rally behind one who has always looked out for others
DAVID Stevens has been told he has between three and six months to live.
Coffs Harbour's 2014 Citizen of the Year and Carer of the Year for 2011 is seeing a nightmarish turning of the tables.
The fit and energetic community worker who always had time to help just one more family is now the one in need of help.
The dedicated father who provided 24-hour care for his young children is now so ill he is confined to a bed and requires full-time help himself.
His daughter Deisha has the rare genetic condition Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome and requires constant care.
David, who was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in June, was last week handed the dire prognosis by his oncologist and is in hospital this week for radiotherapy.
"I'm just sort of coming to terms with it," David said.
"Six weeks ago everything was fine and I was doing a bit of public speaking, then I got a little bit of pain.
"It's a bit scary and disturbing, but honestly I'm more scared for my family than me."
David was the president of the Coffs Coast Regional Disability Association; area representative of HeartKids NSW and the founding Chairman of Special Olympics NSW North Coast Region as well as president of the Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome Australia before his illness forced him to scale back his activities.
But he is best-known locally as the man who makes Macauleys Headland sparkle and glow each December with his astounding annual displays of Christmas lights.
David said he was now concentrating on being around for his son's wedding in September and the birth of his daughter's baby in October.
He wants to maintain as normal a life as possible, especially for his children, plus he wants his friends and colleagues to stay in touch and not be scared off by his illness.
He just wants his mates to have a yarn about football with him.
Friends and colleagues are looking at ways to support the Stevens family. David's wife Jamaica has had to leave her job, and the medical bills are mounting up.
The family can no longer afford private health insurance and is struggling to make ends meet.
Karen Jackson would like to hear from anyone who can help her organise a trivia night and auction or who can help the family in any other capacity.
Karen can be contacted on 6652 0419 or firstname.lastname@example.org
David and Jamaica Stevens can be contacted directly through their Facebook page deishamagicstevens.