Tony Kaye was diagnosed with brain tumours around Christmas last year.
Tony Kaye has spent many a day at the races, but the Boxing Day races at Otaki are where he got his first inkling of a devastating life change.
The ex-jockey and Manawatu horse trainer was at the races when he started feeling unwell, had a headache, and began slurring his words.
"The next day I got up and I felt like I was drunk. I couldn't walk, I couldn't talk, so I rang the ambulance and got the ambulance up to the hospital."
David Unwin/Fairfax NZ
Manawatu man Tony Kaye is being positive and sharing his terminal cancer journey to encourage others to look after their health and get checked.
The father-of-two's scan revealed two large grade 4 glioblastomas and another six smaller tumours.
Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain cancer forming multiple cancerous tumours.
Tony Kaye's brain scans. The scan to the left shows two of the grey, circular-looking tumors clearly. The scan to the right is post surgery.
Before his diagnosis, Kaye said he had felt tired, lethargic, and had been getting headaches. He had visited his GP just weeks before his hospital visit but his tumours were not picked up.
"It was a bit scary. I didn't think it was life-threatening to start with, and it still hasn't really sunken in that way. It was a bit of a shock."
The diagnosis was another blow for Kaye, who lost livestock, a workshop, and handmade furniture in a shed fire in 2013.
David Unwin/Fairfax NZ.
Manawatu man Tony Kaye is fighting terminal cancer after brain tumours were discovered at the end of last year.
"We had the girls' ponies [in the shed] and had to watch them burn in there – it was horrible. So, getting over that was quite hard, and then we get this."
On New Year's Eve, Kaye had surgery in Wellington to remove the tumour on the left side of his brain.
The 53-year-old felt good post-surgery, so was shocked when his oncologist later said he had six months to live without chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
However, Kaye is eschewing traditional treatments and has instead turned to natural remedies.
His treatments include intravenous vitamin C oils such as frankincense, and eating high-strength turmeric and beetroot.
Kaye encouraged people to look outside the square when it came to cancer treatment.
He is focusing on remaining positive and supporting his wife Nicky, and their two daughters, Corydin, 15, and Willow, 12.
"I'm going to beat it. I think that's only only way – being positive. If you're not positive, you'll never beat it. You've just got to be strong."
Kaye is unable to drive and gets tired easily so his wife has had to temporarily leave her job at Farmlands to help train their four horses.
She said it was a tough situation for their whole family. It was also tough financially because of the cost of Kaye's treatments.
Luckily, they had a supportive network of friends, she said.
Kaye is looking at attending a natural healing treatment centre in Brazil, which could cost about $6000.
A Givealittle page has been set up to help fund Kaye's day-to-day treatments, and would hopefully raise enough for him to seek treatment overseas.
Nicky Kaye said they were planning to renew their vows so their daughters could be a part of their wedding day, and simply because life was "too short".