Daniel's legacy

23 October 2017

Falling in love at 19, literally with the boy next door, has taken Vicky Frost on a journey that’s hard to believe.

Daniel, Vicky and Ella FrostNearly six years ago Vicky’s father became friends and fishing buddies with Daniel Frost, a young Victorian mechanic with a love of fishing and golf. Fishing trips to Rottnest grew to include neighbourly dinners with Vicky’s family and after a while Vicky fell in love with the hard working witty mechanic over the fence.

In time she moved in with Daniel, her first big love.

“The big move was across the lawn,” she laughs.

Three years later baby Ella was born. They bought a house at The Vines and last September the pair was married at a vineyard in the Swan Valley.

Three months later, just after Christmas, Daniel visited his GP complaining of diarrhoea even though he thought too much good food over the festive season was probably the culprit. Results of a blood test were concerning and within days liver cancer was diagnosed. Daniel was 33 years old.

“My mum works in the GP centre as a nurse so she was first to find out. She couldn’t even look at me,” said Vicky through tears. She knew Daniel’s diagnosis was terribly serious.

It took several days to locate the primary source of Daniel’s cancer which turned out to be bowel cancer.

The shocking news reverberated through friends and family. At mining company MACA, where Daniel worked, he was part of the team of more than 200 cyclists who participate in the annual MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer. Daniel thought it was a great cause, supporting cancer research at the Perkins. Little did he know how direct a connection to him it was going to be.

He raised more than $2,500 for cancer research at the Perkins each year he did the 200km ride from Perth to Mandurah and back.

Last year Daniel only managed half the distance. Vicky doesn’t know for sure if he was already suffering the effects of his rapidly spreading cancer but in hindsight it seems likely.

“When he was sick, early this year, he did think back and he thought about the Ride and he thought looking back he was weaker than the previous year, he just didn’t have the power, the strength for the Ride.”

Vicky says Daniel always had a premonition one of them would get cancer even though there was no family history for either of them.

“Daniel was always the one who made sure everything was in place, like life insurance and because he had a sneaking suspicion that one of us, he didn’t know who, but that someone could just die, so he was always very cautious of that happening so I’m not sure if whether he knew himself or not, but I remember him saying that one of us could get cancer, and I said there’s no family history of cancer”, but for as long as Vicky knew Daniel he always thought like that.

Daniel worked up to the day he visited the GP. His co-workers were utterly shocked at the diagnosis. One asked his GP for a test to see if he too had cancer. The GP said that at age 40, he was too young to be worrying about bowel cancer.

Vicky’s father, who was 48, also reacted to the shock by asking for a test. It was two weeks after Daniel’s diagnosis when his results came back. They too were positive for bowel cancer.

“He just went for a colonoscopy as many men did after Daniel was diagnosed.”

Vicky’s father’s had surgery and is still having chemotherapy.

Daniel was treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy but his cancer was too widespread. He died at the end of March this year, three months after diagnosis. He was 33 years old.

Vicky is 24 and is raising their two year old daughter, Ella.

The MACA team will ride in Daniel’s memory on October 22 to keep raising money for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

The ongoing cancer research at the Perkins provides some comfort for Vicky that one day families might be spared the grief she experiences.

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