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Help Make Gavin Bonser's Dying Wish A Reality
$5,384 raised
108% of $5k goal
103 contributors
4 Years running
Gavin Bonser passed away from Lymphoma Non Hodgkin’s 15 Feb 2013. His dying wish was for an Obs Machine to be donated in his name to Ward G73 at Sir Charles Hospital, where he had undergone his therapies. Please help us make Gavin's wish a reality...

Gavin Bonser

Gavin was 45, fit, a non smoker, and not a heavy drinker. He loved life, never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always there to help people. He always put others first. Everyone loved him and he touched so many lives. He rode his push bike everywhere and rode his bike solo from Kalgoorlie to Perth to raise funds for Telethon and the local PCYC in Kalgoorlie back in 2006.

He was an Electrician by trade, a Senior Constable in the WA Police Force for 17 years and a Bombardier at 7FD Battery Karrakatta (now 3 Light Battery) army reservist for 24 years.

An Unusual Lump

It happened in November of 2011. Gavin was having a shave as he prepared to go to army when he found an unusual lump in his neck. We were all immediately alarmed and Gavin took himself to hospital.

Our family started panicking about what this unusual lump might be. Was it an infection or was it cancerous? Gavin was told that it might just be an infection and to come back in three days for further tests if it hadn’t reduced in size.

Sadly, there was no change and Gavin went back three days later to undergo fine needle biopsies and blood tests. Both tests were unsuccessful.

Lymphoma Non Hodgkin’s

It wasn’t until March of 2012 that they removed the lymph nodes in Gavin's neck to find that it was stage 4 B-cell Lymphoma Non Hodgkin’s (for those that don’t know this is cancer of the lymph nodes which our bodies need to help fight off infection). The cancer was already at a stage 4, which means it was well advanced.


Gavin started his first round of chemo at the end of March 2012. He continued to have chemo in cycles consisting of a week of treatment followed by a month of recovery. This meant he would go into hospital for a week, then in and out for blood tests weekly for a month after that until his next round of Chemo.

This was a very unusual and tough time for our family and I began to struggle with the idea that my loving husband and the father to my children may no longer be with us.

Gavin’s treatment continued on and off throughout the year. He was constantly in and out of hospital having chemo and undergoing tests. Things started looking up during the middle of the year when we got the news we had hoped for; the chemo had erased most of Gavin's cancer.

The good news didn't last long however. Sadly, a few weeks later, Gavin wasn't looking too good and had come down with a sickness and it was back off to the hospital for more testing. Unfortunately the tests revealed the cancer had come back more aggressively and was spreading throughout his body.

This meant stronger chemo and more time in hospital to get things back on track again. This continued through to Christmas which, incidentally, our family spent half the day of in hospital so Gavin could have blood transfusions to prepare for his next batch of chemo.

A Turn For The Worse

It wasn’t till the weekend of Australia Day 2013 that things changed drastically. We had gone on a small weekend holiday to Mandurah for Australia Day and our 23rd wedding anniversary. When we returned home, Gavin collapsed on the bed and we rushed him to hospital.

Unfortunately Gavin was suffering from pneumonia and a collapsed lung and was immediately put into Intensive Care. The Doctors were unsure of what was going to happen next and the family was called in to say their goodbyes in case the worse happened. Thankfully Gavin beat the odds and was returned back to the ward on light oxygen.

The Most Difficult Conversion

Then came one of the worse days of my life. A couple of weeks after his collapse, we arrived at the hospital and were told that Gavin needed to speak to us all.

It was here that Gavin, being very brave, told us one by one that the Doctors couldn’t do anymore for him. He then dropped a bombshell and told us he had only been given two weeks to live.

Gavin's Final Wishes

One of his wishes was to be able to leave hospital and go home so he could spend his last couple of weeks with our family. We tried organising this for Gavin, but alas, it was not to be.

I had a very long conversation with Gavin on the 14th of February 2013 where he told me everything he wanted for his funeral. His words were “I want all the bells and whistles, whatever I can have”. He even told me who he wanted to carry him on the day. It’s not very often you get quality time like that to discuss what your final wishes are.

Gavin passed away at about 9.30am the next day on the 15th of February, 2013. My mission was to then organise the most amazing send off for Gavin, which we somehow managed to do despite our grief.

The Bonser Obs Machine

Gavin also had another wish before he died and that was for me to purchase and donate an OBS machine in his name and present it to Ward G73 at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, where he had undergone his therapies.

It has taken me a while to gather the strength to do it, but this is what I am doing for Gavin now.

I’m currently in the process of purchasing the Obs Machine in Gavin’s name and will present to the Ward on June 26th 2014.

I’m asking if you can please help fulfil Gavin’s last request before his passing to donate as much or as little as you can to his Obs Machine. I thank you in advance and I know Gavin does to.

Please pass this onto friends and family.


Shelley Bonser & the Bonser Family

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