A GoFundMe page created to help raise funds for well-known former Connections BMX owner Ash Slattery as he begins his cancer fight has amassed over $20,000 in less than 24 hours.
Page creator Meegan Stanley said she and her partner Ash were “shell shocked” by people’s generosity.
She was incredibly grateful and humbled after the page raised $19,000 in six hours last night, with more coming today.
The “Help Ash Live It Up” page has triggered an outpouring of support for 36-year-old Mr Slattery, with more than 120 donations pledged and 846 social media shares by 1pm on Tuesday.
Mr Slattery used to own Connections BMX, where he made strong connections with many including the local BMX riders who came through the shop.
In 2013 the business won a Bendigo Business Excellence Award, in the retail category.
Until the past few days only close friends and family knew Mr Slattery was fighting liver and colon cancer, Ms Stanley said. The couple now wanted to share some information with others who know him.
Today he begins three months of intensive chemotherapy and has been told that the cancer must reduce by 90 per cent before surgeons can consider liver surgery.
If that does not work his future options will be very limited.
“I think it is what it is,” Ms Stanley said.
“The diagnosis is not good but we are not giving up. We are praying that the chemotherapy helps. He might be the exception and will get through this.”
Money raised through the Help Ash Live It Up page will go towards any unforeseen costs medicare will not cover as well as general living expenses, as Mr Slattery is now not working.
The couple also hopes to raise enough money for a trip to Venice.
Ms Stanley said her partner had always wanted to visit the city but had been too busy with Connections BMX.
It was unclear yet whether Mr Slattery would be well enough to travel, but the couple remained hopeful.
The couple also planned to keep fighting.
“He is worth fighting for. He is the most incredible man,” Ms Stanley said.
The couple hope to raise at least $40,000.To donate visit the Help Ash Live It Up GoFundMe page.
A fundraiser will be held at the Bridge Hotel Bendigo this Sunday from 1pm until 5pm. People are asked to donate $50. Drinks will be free.