Trucking community rallies behind young dad diagnosed with brain cancer

Up until just a few weeks ago, all seemed well for this hard-working young father of two – until he received a heartbreaking diagnosis.

Based in Kurri Kurri in NSW’s Hunter Valley, Mitchell Fuller, 31, hadn’t worked in the trucking industry but his family had owned and operated a transport business for many years, so he’s been around trucks his entire life.

While his day job was working full time as a car detailer from Monday to Friday, he’d spend each Sunday washing and detailing trucks for the many truck drivers he knew.

“Mitchell is young and fit. He’d spend his Sundays climbing in and out of trucks all day,” said his mother Marnie Alchin.

Mitchell and Loren Fuller recently took their girls on their first trip to the Gold Coast. Image: Marnie Alchin

Just a month ago, he and his wife Loren Fuller took their two girls Aria (6) and Ayla (4) on their first trip to the Gold Coast, completely unaware of what was about to unfold.

“He went to the doctor about a headache. They told him to just take some Panadol. Then it just hit him,” Alchin explained.

On Sunday, January 28, a severe migraine saw Mitchell admitted to Maitland Hospital, where he underwent a CT scan. He was then transferred to the John Hunter Hospital where he underwent an MRI, which revealed his family’s worst fears.

[L-R]: Loren, Ayla, Aria and Mitchell Fuller. Image: Marnie Alchin
Doctors found a 6cm tumour on the cognitive side of his brain, which controls his speech. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

“They said even if he had an MRI two weeks prior, it probably wouldn’t even have shown up. I want to get the message out there that if you do get a migraine, just go and get it checked!” added Alchin.

“He was a young and fit man who worked six days a week while juggling family life with it too.”

This week Mitchell will undergo an operation to remove as much of the tumour as possible, though surgeons have advised that they won’t be able to remove it in full – so there is a high likelihood that it will return, resulting in the need for further surgeries.

“What he has is a very rare form. After the surgery, there will be a recovery period before he begins eight weeks of radiation and six weeks of chemotherapy,” explained Alchin.

Mitchell with his mum Marnie Alchin. Image: Marnie Alchin

“As a mum, I am absolutely terrified and now I can’t even go and hug him because my other son has tested positive to Covid, so we can’t go and see him before the surgery.”

With Mitchell being the sole provider for his family and now unable to work, a GoFundMe page was set up by his sister Jessica Deacon, to help ease the financial pressure as he continues his treatment.

The page has so far raised $4738 of the $20,000 fundraising goal. To donate, please click here.

Alchin added that a fundraising event is also being planned, set to be held in Newcastle, with the date and venue to be confirmed shortly. Family and friends are currently looking for donations, which can be auctioned off on the night.

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