It should be a time of joy and celebration but a Hamilton man will spend the first weeks of his baby boy's life undergoing cancer treatment.
Ryan Hikuroa, 34, began chemotherapy and radiotherapy for human papillomavirus (HPV) related throat cancer at Waikato Hospital on Monday, just five days after his first child was born.
Hikuroa said the birth of his son, who was yet to be named, had given him the power to push on.
"It has probably been the best strength that I could be given really.
"People say it must be a hard time to be going through, but at the same time we are just so lucky to have something so positive to help us through."
Things had been going well for Hikuroa and his wife, Farah.
In May she fell pregnant with the couple's first child after undergoing IVF.
Just three months later they moved from Auckland to Hamilton where Hikuroa got a job as an electrician.
About the same time he went to the doctor for a finger injury.
He also asked the GP to look at his throat, which had been sore for almost a year, and a lump that had developed under the left side of his jaw, which he thought was related to a "bad tooth".
"They just thought it was tonsillitis," Hikuroa said.
Antibiotics reduced the redness and swelling around the lump but when he finished the medication, the lump became more aggressive. Hikuroa also got septic sores in his mouth and small growths on his tonsils.
His GP took swabs in September "but nothing came back" so he was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist at Waikato Hospital.
The specialist diagnosed the cancer.
Hikuroa was told he would need radiotherapy five days a week for seven weeks and three sessions of chemotherapy.
"It wasn't the best Christmas news," Hikuroa said.
He was told he had an 80-90 per cent chance of beating the cancer with treatment but with Farah at home looking after their son and Hikuroa unsure when he would be well enough to return to work, the couple came under financial pressure.
"I was just worried — am I going to be able to provide for my new family?" Hikuroa said.
Friend Jeremy Fraser started a Givealittle page to help Ryan and Farah with expenses including rent and bills.
Fraser, who met Ryan when they both worked for the Fire Service 10 years ago, said the thought of Hikuroa struggling to provide for his new son as he battled cancer was "too much".
"He does as much as he can, selflessly, for pretty much everyone else so it was kind of like this is the time to do as much as I can for him and his family," Fraser said.
The donation page had raised more than $14,000.
Hikuroa said he felt blessed and humbled by the support.
He was also thankful for his mum who had travelled from Melbourne to give him and Farah a hand.
"Now I know that we do have a bit of breathing space the biggest thing on my mind is wanting to get back to work eventually after I spend a couple weeks with my wife and my boy."
Hikuroa's boss is continuing to pay his wages in the meantime — which Hikuroa hopes the money raised through Givealittle will also help pay back.
• How to help go to Give a Little.