Thank you everybody. Our campaign is now over.
Support Rome Torti
$103,818 raised
104% of $100k goal
1539 contributors
0 days left
Ended Mar 27, 2014

Nearly 5 years ago, Rome Torti was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour, with a life expectancy of 2 months. He's been fighting it ever since. Unfortunately, sometimes love isn't all you need. Sometimes you need help too.

This is a love story. 

About my friends Rachel and Rome.

They met… fell in love…
And it was brilliant. 

Rachel and Rome
One day, Rome started acting funny. 

Rachel nagged him to see the doctor. 

And the reason he was acting funny? 

He had a brain tumour. The size of an orange. 

It’s called a Giloblatoma Multiforme Grade 4 Malignant Brain Tumour. 

(Although we have a few other rude names for it) 

And it’s incurable. 

On average, people who have this tumour live about 2 months. 

Not our Rome. 
That diagnosis was 4 & ½ years ago. 

Oh, the docs also said after chemo, Rome & Rachel wouldn’t be able to have kids. 

Introducing Ryder. 

The miracle baby! 

Baby Ryder

Rome and Rachel have done everything to fight the tumour. 
Surgery. Chemo. Radiation. They embraced natural therapy. A new lifestyle – supplements, oxygen therapy, and an experimental German treatment called Oncothermia that cost a lot of money.
They tried every single suggestion people told them about.
And something worked.
They stunted the cancer growth. 

It didn’t go away. But it stopped growing.
Ryder and Rome

But the thing with incurable brain tumours? 

They grow back. 

And recently, Rome got the news that the cancer has grown again. 
Quickly. Aggressively. Horribly. 

They sold their house, car and cashed in their savings and superannuation. 
They tried the German therapy again. 
They hoped. 

Rome treatment
This time, it didn’t work.
They had nothing left… but that hope. 

And each other. 

(Oh, and this bugger of a brain tumour).

With nothing left to lose, they heard about Charlie Teo - a brain surgeon who is the best in the biz.
They begged for him to take a look at Rome’s case. 

The case with no hope – but their own. 


Dr Teo reckons there’s a chance he can do something for Rome.
Not cure him – but buy him time. 
And for a little boy who loves his Dad? 
Years are a lifetime of memories.
If you could beat cancer simply by love, this thing would be gone. 

But unfortunately, sometimes love isn’t just all you need. 

Sometimes you need help. 

And superhero brain surgery isn’t cheap. 

Rachel and Rome have amazing friends and family who have dug deep.

But now, they need the help of strangers too. 

There are times this world can feel big. 

And times it can seem small. 

This is one of those times. 

We all have someone we love with all our hearts.

Someone who reminds us hope is still possible.

Even when it seems like it’s not.

Rachel and Rome are fighting for a future. 

With their son...

...With each other.

They believe. They believe. They believe. 

They will never, ever give up. 

And there isn’t anyone who can’t relate to that. 

This festive season – you can make a difference. 

Your family can give this family a chance. 

Your family can give this family hope. 

Hope for Rome to beat this cancer. 

For Ryder to get those years with his Dad.

A chance for a happily ever after to this love story. 

Every little bit helps. 

AN UPDATE - Dec 26, 2013
We began this campaign because we believed in the power of people and we hoped for a Christmas miracle. It turns out we were rewarded by both.

People were touched by Rome, Rachel and Ryder's story. They rallied. They shared the story with their friends. They dug deep. They believed in miracles... and together, we made one happen. In four days, we raised $70 000 to pay for Rome's brain surgery.

Two days before Christmas, Dr Charlie Teo operated on Rome. About seven hours later, he emerged and admitted he had underestimated the tumour. He described it as "very messy". He said that of the 8000 tumours he had operated on, Rome's was one of the worst.

He let us know things hadn't gone to plan.

Rome is paralysed down his right side. His speech is affected. The doctor removed most of the devastating tumour - but the news that was supposed to fill our hearts with joy was tainted by a harsh reality - Rome hadn't emerged without some serious battle scars.

The path to their future together is still pretty bumpy. But, as Dr Teo said, "This is one guy who really loves life. I get the feeling this isn't going to stop him."

Rome has a board above his hospital bed that lists his goals. Number one on the list, in big bold lettering, is "To go home".

We know you have donated, we know you have helped above and beyond what we could have hoped for. But we still need your help - because now, we need to bring Rome home to a rehab hospital on the Gold Coast.

Rome needs to travel by Air Ambulance from Sydney to his hometown on the Gold Coast. He can return to a place where he can literally get back on his feet surrounded by his support team of friends and family - and Rachel and his family can come home too.

The doctors are confident Rome will one day walk again, but he has a huge fight ahead with rehab - and getting him back where he belongs is just the beginning he needs. Without the surgery, Rome would not have been with us this time next month. Without your help - he would have died. Now, we need your help to bring Rome home and start the next chapter of the rest of his life.
Ryder and Rome


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