Ahipara father Beau Dickins says finding out his wife Monique had a rapidly growing cancerous tumour in her lung was really hard.
But being told she needed surgery within two weeks and it would cost around $50,000 because Monique is not yet a New Zealand resident — that was overwhelming.
Now a Givealittle page has been set up to raise that money urgently.
"The fact we've got to deal with all of this and then we've got to source the money ourselves. It's very overwhelming," 28-year-old Dickins said.
The couple live in Ahipara with their two children Marlon, 18 months, and Margo, five months, but Monique, 25, is originally from the United Kingdom.
The pair met there in 2015 when Dickins was playing rugby in England.
"I met her at a bar. We hit things off pretty quickly and we didn't mess around."
They fell in love fast, Dickins said.
In 2017 the couple made the move back to New Zealand because Monique was pregnant with Marlon and Dickins was unable to get a visa to stay in the UK.
While here the pair married and Marlon was born.
Then Monique got homesick so the family went back to the UK for a couple of months.
But they moved back to Ahipara after Monique - who was pregnant with Margo - realised she wanted to raise her children in New Zealand.
Dickins said they have been here for about eight months now and Monique, who is on a temporary visa, was in the process of applying for residency.
In fact, it was when she went for a chest X-ray two months ago — which needed to be performed to check for tuberculosis as part of the application process — that something was first spotted.
"At first it was a shock but then they say it can be 10 different kind of things - they say it can be a shadow, it can be an infection in your lung, it can be pneumonia, it can be a tumour, it can be cancer. So at the time we were trying not to over think it, we were trying to be positive," Dickins said.
More investigation was required so Monique went for a CT scan, and then a PET scan in Auckland.
On Wednesday last week the couple received a call from a lung expert they had been dealing with who told them Monique had a rapidly growing cancerous tumour in her lung which required surgery within two weeks, and also that because Monique was not a resident they would need about $50,000 for surgery.
"It breaks your heart. I'm at home a lot because I've got to help with the kids because they're very close in age and it's very hard work. And then with that hanging over your head, who the hell can fork out $50,000? It just hits you like a curve ball."
Dickins said Ahipara was home for both himself and Monique, so having to pay $50,000 because she is not a New Zealand resident felt "wrong".
"I think it's a load of crap. We're a solid couple, I'm married to her, we've had two kids in New Zealand."
Dickins said on top of surgery costs they will have to pay for the time Monique spends in hospital recovering.
"People might say 'go back to the UK and do it' but we've got no house in the UK and Monique's mum is dealing with breast cancer so she can't help us."
Dickins said Monique was "pretty scared, but brave".
To help the family visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/2-weeks-to-raise-dollar50000-for-mon