Graduate teacher given 12 months to live

By Regan Paranihi

Whitinga Harris, 31, is currently fighting the biggest fight of his life after being diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last September.

Harris had completed his teaching degree and had moved to Rotorua with his whānau to start his new journey as a qualified primary teacher before receiving the devastating news.

Since being diagnosed, doctors have found a soccer ball sized tumor underneath Harris’ stomach, resulting in the removal of most of his colon.

Unfortunately for Harris, his health didn’t improve as the procedure caused the cancer to spread through to his liver and his stomach.

Doctors have advised Harris that with chemotherapy he has 12 months to live and without it he has up to four months.

Younger sister, Tainui Harris, is calling on the public help to raise money through a Givealittle page, to cover treatment expenses for Harris as his condition is a rare one and not funded here in New Zealand.

Harris will be returning to the Hokianga today to be with his whānau.

Visit the From graduation to hospital gown facebook page and the Givealittle page for more information.