Australian dad-to-be to have tongue removed due to rare cancer, will never speak to newborn child

Sean and his wife Jess are expecting a baby in October.
Sean and his wife Jess are expecting a baby in October. Photo credit: GoFundMe

A dad-to-be in Australia has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that will heartbreakingly leave him unable to speak when his child is born.

Sean Finnerty learned he had Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma recently, a rare form of cancer that lives in the salivary glands.

Since his diagnosis, he's been told he will be operated on in a months' time, where his tongue will be removed.

"He will have a tract in his throat & won't be able to eat solid food for the unforeseeable future," says a GoFundMe page set up for Finnerty, which has raised nearly $140,000 in two days. "Sean currently works as a fireman and a paramedic, due to his surgery he will be unable to ever work again in either profession.

"Sean and his wife Jess have their first baby due in October 2020. By the time their baby boy is born, Sean will have had surgery and radiation to attempt to limit the chance of the cancer returning."

Finnerty is currently facing an "extreme financial and emotional burden" due to the diagnosis, according to GoFundMe organiser Luke Rogerson.

When he has the operation, Finnerty will miss out on talking to his newborn by a matter of weeks.

"Sean is one of the most selfless people I have ever met, throughout this whole ordeal he just worries more about how his family is than himself," Rogerson wrote.

"So let's get in there and do what we can to help him through this terrible situation."

In an update on Sunday, Rogerson wrote, "This is incredible, the love and support Sean has received from all of you... I can't even put the feelings into words".

Describing Finnerty's family as overwhelmed by the support, he said, "I can’t even begin to explain how much this will help Sean through this difficult time".

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