A happy ending.
Dave Carter was under the impression his trip to Tweed Heads earlier this week (Wednesday, April 14) was to look at a car for his cousin.
Imagine his surprise, and then excitement when he arrived at Tweed Coast Marine to be presented with a sparkling new tinnie, to replace the vessel stolen from Douglas Street, Forster on Easter Monday.
"All this was organised without my knowledge," Dave said.
And, once again Dave's wife and full-time carer, Sabree was behind the carefully planned surprise.
"I thought I was just going to Tweed Heads to look at a car for my cousin," Dave said.
"It wasn't until I arrived and got blindfolded I started to think something was up.
"The joy, happiness and excitement left me speechless I'm still lost for words walking around with a big goofy smile thanks again for everything."
"Youse are dead set legends; for the first time in my life I'm speechless.
"What's youse have done for me and my family is beyond belief and I cannot thank you enough."
When Willem Underman (aka Willem Powerfish) and his mate, Tweed Coast Marine dealer owner, Dan Andrew heard about Dave's issue they didn't hesitate to offer their assistance.
"I thought, I've got to help this guy, it's what we do," Willem said.
An on-line comedian dedicated to the world of fishing, Willem Powerfish is about helping those in need.
"I suffer from mental health issues and people relate to what I do on-line," he said.
"You make money to give it back.
"It makes me feel good and helps my mental health."
The last five years have been a difficult period for Dave and Sabree Carter and their young family.
But, the theft of his much loved tinnie on Easter Monday was just another blow for the long-time cancer fighter.
Following weeks of rain and endless rounds of chemotherapy, the Carter family decided to take the little boat out for a run on Easter Sunday, April 4.
It was the first time the family had used the boat since relocating from their country property to Forster just four weeks earlier.
The run-about had been parked at a mate's place in Douglas Street, Forster while the family wait to move into their new home later this month.
The much loved 3.8 metre Savage was a surprise wedding anniversary present for Dave from Sabree.
And, now it has gone.
We used it as often as we could; the kids loved going out in it and exploring the waterways and islands, seeing the dolphins.Dave Carter
"It cost her $5000 and was saving for over a year as I'm on a disability pension and she's my carer," Dave told the Great Lakes Advocate.
"We used it as often as we could; the kids loved going out in it and exploring the waterways and islands, seeing the dolphins.
"And, they know how much I love fishing so they get joy out of seeing me happy."
At five years of age, Dave said his son was too young to understand what has happened, but his seven-year-old daughter does.
"She keeps asking why they don't just give it back."
Dave was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer back in 2016 and given just six months to live.
Determined to fight on, Dave began a successful chemotherapy course almost immediately.
"Six months later I found out the cancer had shrunk enough to be operated on," he said.
"So with a one per cent chance of making it off the operating table we decided I had to try."
Following a gruelling 13 hours on the operating table where surgeons removed three quarters of his pancreas, part of his intestine, bowel, gallbladder and bile duct, followed by one day in ICU, Dave walked out of hospital three weeks later and began the slow journey back to recovery.
"They successfully removed all the tumour and I was cancer free."
However six months later a progress scan revealed it had returned spreading to Dave's lungs.
He is now receiving regular chemo treatment at Forster Private Hospital.
Also making news:
The Carters relocated to be closer to family support.
"I'm unable to work due to constant treatments and the toll it takes on me.
"My wife is my full-time carer, and honestly I'd be lost if it wasn't for her ongoing love and support; she is a strong incredible woman and I don't know how she does it.
"She is my everything."
A gofundme page has been set-up to help Dave and Sabree purchase a new boat.
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