Jeremy Finlayson’s fiancee Kellie Gardner diagnosed with stage four cancer

Jeremy Finlayson’s fiancee Kellie Gardner diagnosed with stage four cancer

A 26-year-old mother has spoken of her anxiety over being diagnosed with terminal cancer, just as she begins to settle her life with her little girl.

Kellie Gardner gave birth to Sophia in August 2021 and her family, with her fiance, Port Adelaide AFL star Jeremy Finlayson, was just beginning to blossom.

But three months after Sophia was born, Ms Gardner was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The mother-of-one bravely battled the disease, with grueling rounds of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.

And Ms Gardner was dealt another crushing blow earlier this month when doctors told her the stage four cancer had now spread to her lung.

Ms Gardner, originally from Port Lincoln, told 7Life she was struck by “sadness and fear”.

“The doctors are doing everything they possibly can to ensure I’m still here for my wedding in October and, more importantly, I see my daughter at her own wedding in 20 years,” she said.

Ms Gardner said she first noticed something was wrong when she had pain in her stomach, her bowel movements changed and she lost weight.

Her initial thoughts were that it was just the common side effects of becoming a mother, but when she found blood in her poo, she knew something worse was at play.

She was given a colonoscopy, and her world came crashing down when she woke up to life-changing news.

“The doctor spoke a whole bunch of medical words that I still don’t understand to this day, but I certainly knew the sentence: ‘This is what cancer looks like,'” she said.

Kellie Gardner, the fiancee of AFL player Jeremy Finlayson, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Photos: Instagram Source: Instagram The couple was shocked by the news. Photos: Instagram Source: Instagram

Ms Gardner said it took her a while to even grasp that she might have cancer because it felt like something someone in their 60s might have – not someone in their mid-20s.

Her first thoughts were about how she didn’t want to leave her fiancé as a single father.

The constant fear and worry about the future robbed Ms. Gardner of her first year with her daughter, she says.

Jeremy Finlayson plays for Port Adelaide. Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images Source: Getty ImagesKellie and Jeremy. Photo: Instagram Source: Instagram

“My first year of motherhood was taken from me so suddenly and so aggressively that I still mourn the days I missed,” she said.

She is still fighting back her cancer and hopes to reduce or maintain it so she can continue to support her daughter.

Ms Gardner’s friends are raising money for her family. To donate, click here.

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