The family of a 36-year-old mum is desperate for young people to be proactive when it comes to bowel cancer, after being rocked by her devastating death.
Karen, 36, a mother and paramedic, had just given birth to her second child when she was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer three years ago.
Despite fighting hard, Karen died earlier this year.
Her two children are too young to understand what has happened, her family told A Current Affair.
"All she wanted to be was a mother. She just adored them," Karen's mother Cheryl said.
Karen gifted her mother a promise necklace, promising she would get better.
"Karen fought every day for every minute of her life she had left. She dedicated her time and love to raising her beautiful boys," a GoFundMe set up to help the family reads.
Following her death, Karen's family want others to take bowel cancer seriously.
"I get so infuriated when I hear people joke about throwing the screening kits in the bin that get sent to the over 50s," her husband Janek told A Current Affair.
Cheryl urged people to get tested for bowel cancer if they think they may have some sort of problem.
"Don't let your doctor tell you that 'because you're young, you can't get it'. Don't let a doctor fob you off," she said.
"You know yourself. If something is wrong … don't ignore it, because she was 36."
Coles and the community step in
Karen planned on staying at home with her kids, now the Central Coast community has rallied around Janek, fundraising so he can stay at home with his kids.
A Current Affair also surprised the family with a special delivery from Coles, a year's worth of groceries valued at $10,000 to help Janek feed his family.
The surprise left Janek and Cheryl blown away by the supermarket giant's generosity, which will help the windowed father stay at home to support his children.
"We hope that makes it a little bit easier during this time," A Current Affair reporter Dimity Clancy told Janek and Cheryl.
A GoFundMe has also been set up to help Janek and his sons.
"The loss of Karen has left a void in the hearts and lives of so many people, but none more than her husband Janek," the GoFundMe says.
"He is now faced with the challenge of raising 2 boys on his own, with out the support of this superwoman [Karen] and financially providing for them, whilst also grieving for his soulmate and love of his life."
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