Kiwi wife's tearful goodbye to Aussie YouTube star

Sydney man Kristian Anderson with an image of his Kiwi wife Rachel in a video he made for her before he died. Photo / YouTube
Sydney man Kristian Anderson with an image of his Kiwi wife Rachel in a video he made for her before he died. Photo / YouTube

Kristian Anderson's tearful New Zealand-born wife was given a standing ovation after she described her husband as the bravest man she had ever known at his funeral in Sydney today.

His YouTube message, made as a birthday present for Rachel, went viral and inspired US talkshow queen Oprah Winfrey to help them enjoy a final holiday together.

The 36-year-old father of two died on Monday after a long battle with bowel cancer.

In a rock concert-style funeral, on Sydney's northern beaches, mourners were told about a perfectionist who put God before a chance at Olympic glory.

Standing on stage, in the Oxford Falls C3 Church where they met, Rachel choked back tears as she described a man who fought to make cancer drugs more easily available.

She also remembered a romantic and selfless husband who bought her long-stemmed roses, and once raced to the scene of a truck accident without regard for his own safety.

"He was also the most passionate, friendly, compulsive, generous and brave man I have ever known," she said.

Ms Anderson also thanked Oprah for giving them $250,000 when she visited Australia in 2010 so the family could enjoy a final holiday together.

"It was a beautiful time with him and the boys," she said.

Sons Jakob, three, and five-year-old Cody, described the service as "Daddy's Concert", which opened with a live rendition of U2's Where The Streets Have No Name.

His younger brother Jeremy remembered a teenage athlete who held their school's high jump record for 10 years, only to forgo an Olympic dream for God.

"The coach saw his natural talent and said he hadn't seen someone with this natural ability with no training whatsoever in his entire life and believed he could take Kris to the Olympics," he said.

"When Kris found out the competition was on Sunday, he happily gave it away without a second thought.

"His beliefs were more important to him than his achievements."

Mr Anderson's work colleague at the Perth-based television production company where he worked, Ed Hobbs, said Mr Anderson was more concerned with producing a perfect video than becoming an online star.

"He never aimed to be a cancer crusader, let alone a YouTube star or Twitter sensation," Mr Hobbs said.

"But his struggle was so heartwarming, so heart-wrenching, so creative and so selfless that the world could hardly ignore it."

It was viewed more than 480,000 times.

Mr Anderson, from Curl Curl, blogged about his experience with cancer from when he was diagnosed in 2009 until his death.

When mourners filed into the church, a song called Peace, recorded by Mr Anderson, was played as his smiling face beamed from big screens.

As his coffin draped with white roses was carried from the auditorium, a song written by his sister Bethany filled the room.

Everything Fades was a piece of music he had produced.

The video Anderson made for his wife:


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