Tasmanian couple with three young children both diagnosed with cancer within a year

An Australian couple has suffered two devastating blows in just 12 months and must tell their three children that “one of their parents is about to embark on an unbeatable journey”.

In August 2020, Tasmania’s Kristen Rasmussen gave birth to her third baby when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and “turned her life upside down”.

She underwent 11 hours of surgery to remove ten tumors, had a mastectomy and multiple chemotherapy treatments.

But during Kristen’s last round of radiation last month, “the unthinkable happened.”

Will, 6, Tommy, 4 and Estelle, 1. Credit: GoFundMe

“Pete, who was stoic in his response to the challenges his wife’s diagnosis faced, and the long-term prognosis, was rushed to hospital after seizure events and an MRI diagnosed him with a stage 2 astrocytoma cancerous brain tumor,” read a post on the couple’s GoFundMe page.

“The tumor is inoperable and at this stage, aged 35, Pete has about 7 to 10 years to live.

“As Pete himself has said, one of the most challenging parts of this story is having to tell their young children that a second of their parents is about to go on an unbeatable cancer journey.”

Pete said he suffered from depression and panic attacks, but it was during his wife’s diagnosis and thought it had to do with that.

But then the attacks started.

Kristen is an educator for young children and Pete is a teacher, but both parents are unable to work. Credit: GoFundMe

“One of the worst was when I was in the car with my kids and I had to stop quickly to park when my vision started spinning and I passed out,” he told The Mercury.

Kristen is an educator for young children and Pete is a teacher, but both parents are unable to work because of the diagnoses.

Friends started a GoFundMe page to raise money for hospital bills and it has already made more than $90,000 by Friday morning.

“At the end of the day, my wife is left with three kids and a mortgage, so every dollar really helps,” Pete told the Mercury.

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