When Auckland mum Sarah Steele beat breast cancer after a harrowing year of treatment, she celebrated with a glass of wine on her 45th birthday.
But celebrations turned to tragedy when, four days later, multiple and unsurvivable tumours were found on her brain.
Her dying wish was that her 23-year-old daughter Abbey raise her youngest child - little Phoenix - who is just 2 years old.
Abbey Steele is now juggling her own life with raising a toddler and dealing with the death of her "amazing" mother.
But she wouldn't have it any other way.
Abbey and her brother Daniel spoke to the Herald about their loss and their new journey, raising their little brother and making sure he knows how special his mother was.
Sarah Elizabeth Steele died on October 16.
In mid-2019 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and fought hard to beat the disease so
she could be there for her four children - Daniel, 25; Abbey; Fionn, 14; and Phoenix.
She underwent numerous surgeries including a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation and was declared cancer-free just before her 45th birthday in August this year.
Four days later Steele was given crushing news.
She had been having headaches and feeling nauseous and went to hospital for a check up.
There, she learned that she had metastatic brain cancer.
Steele - who had also just welcomed her first grandchild - had three incurable tumours on her brain and doctors suggested she start considering palliative care as she would not survive long.
However, Steele refused to give up, saying she had too much to live for.
She underwent major neurosurgery and was awaiting another course of heavy radiation
when she was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a very rare complication of brain cancer.
And it was terminal.
The Steele family were told that Sarah only had hours left - but the mum-of-four held on for a week, which her family say was a true testament to her strength and her will to live.
"We're adjusting to life without her now, which is hard," Abbey told the Herald.
"We're taking every day as it comes, it's a struggle - mum was our world and the glue that held everything together.
"One of mum's wishes before she died was that I take over the care of Phoenix, so I'm trying to keep his life as normal as possible."
Abbey and Daniel have their own jobs, but are also continuing to run their mother's landscaping business.
She had worked hard for the past 15 years to build the business and her adult children wanted to keep it afloat - which meant dealing with customers, staff and admin on top of their normal nine-to-five jobs.
But they are managing.
"We're doing alright, I'm back at work and Abbey is doing a great job looking after Phoenix," said Daniel.
"He's back at preschool and he's enjoying that."
Abbey stepped in to look after her youngest brother when Steele first went into hospital last year.
"When she wasn't able to take care of him, I stepped into that role," she explained.
"So he was used to that."
Phoenix knew his mummy was sick and Abbey explained to him what had happened when she died.
"He's very smart and very switched on, he understands that mummy has died and mummy is in the sky.
"He knew she was in hospital, he knew she was very sick and on the day of the funeral I had a chat with him and he knew she was not coming home.
"He's been so good about it all, he has his moments but for the most part he is doing really well."
Abbey and Daniel said they were a tight-knit family and had a lot of support and help, which they were grateful for.
A Givealittle page was also set up to raise money for Phoenix's future which they are thankful for.
Abbey said it was also important that Phoenix grew up knowing who his mum was.
"She was just an amazing woman and she was so brave," she said.
"We were all so proud of her ... she fought so hard to be here for her family.
"She was the most amazing woman you could meet - she was so strong, right up until the end.
"She raised us on her own and ran her business, she did it all. Even when she was sick she was doing all she could to stay and be here for everyone ... we're all so proud of her, she was amazing.
"She wanted to beat this, she wanted to fight this and get through it ... that's what we will tell Phoenix."
Daniel added: "She was so caring and loving, she always put her family first ... she was awesome.
"She was an amazing person and we just want people to know her story."
Do you want to help?
If you want to donate to the Givealittle page to help the Steele family raise little Phoenix - visit https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/support-for-sarahs-young-family or click here.