Jonathan Densem's bucket-list dream leaves legacy beyond cancer

A Christchurch husband and father has finally achieved his goal of recording his first album, 25 years after he started writing it. 

It was Jonathan Densem's bucket-list dream, which only became a reality after a shocking terminal cancer diagnosis. 

"Life gets in the way and it gets away from you, and you get to be nearly 50," says Densem.

"Then suddenly, even though I've been creative all my life and have been writing songs and performing them from time to time, I never had the luxury or the ability to just go, 'Well, I'm going to be a singer songwriter'."

Two years ago he was told he had an inoperable brain tumour, meaning there was no cure. 

Facing those facts was not only scary but life-changing. 

"In some respects, it's actually quite exciting, because suddenly you've gone, 'Whatever barriers there were, they don't apply anymore'."

One of those barriers that prevented Densem from recording his album was money, so his wife set up a Givealittle page and raised $57,000. 

While sharing the album Saying It Now with the world was Densem's dream, it was an important goal for another reason - his two young sons. 

"Just to know that they have a legacy of me at my best is really, really important to me," he says. 

Despite going through this journey with the inevitable fear of not knowing how long he has, he's incredibly optimistic. 

"There are people living five years, 10 years, 25 years with the same prognosis and, yes, there's no cure, but if you live until you're 80, then isn't that a cure?"

Now he's looking to the future more than ever. 

"Now, at least I know I can feel really confident and satisfied that this leg of the journey is done, and now I want to go on the next bit, which hopefully will be overseas or big tours or another album."

So for now, cancer will just have to wait, while Densem continues building his legacy. 


Contact Newshub with your story tips: