Mark Cummins has never been more proud of the man he calls a friend more than a son.
Nick Cummins, the larrikin star of the Wallabies, gave it all away two years ago to build a future for his siblings, because Mark's days are numbered.
When his dad was diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer and caring for two other children with cystic fibrosis, Nick stepped up to build a future for them and, just maybe, find a cure.
"He said ‘It’d be wrong of me, wrong of me to take the personal joy, the personal glory to be the big man when I could go over there, make a fair bit of loot drop it into an account and if there’s a cure or something comes up overseas hell away you go get over there and get it done, that’s far more important than me playing for the Wallabies," Mark told Sunday Night.
"[Nick's] a person who's as honest as the day is long, someone who I'd probably call more of a friend than a son."
The 'Honey Badger' announced he would be moving to Japan in 2014 — where players can earn up to three-times their Australian salary — and signed a new contract with Japanese club the Coca-Cola Red Sparks.
Their personal tragedy has brought Nick and his family closer together than ever
"I remember the first time I gave Dad like a proper hug you know and that was big."
"It’s sad that it takes something like this to happen but we wait so long until it’s too late and then and they can be gone you know," Nick said.
"Family’s number one, just that’s flat out it and I think a lot of people when they’re put in a certain position will come to that conclusion and you’ll just do whatever.
As a child, Nick’s younger sister Elizabeth was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis – a terminal illness that affects the lungs and the ability to breath.
Then Joe, the baby of the family, was diagnosed with the same illness and given 12 years to live.
With Marks prognosis, he knew he had to provide for his siblings.
"Every day is a struggle, every breath is a struggle … constant medication, constant coughing, constant vomiting, just struggling just to keep afloat and if you want to talk about courage yeah, that's two examples of it there," Nick said of his brother and sister.
"I wanted to get a safety net in an account just ready for troubling times."
Almost from birth, Nick was the biggest in a very big family — one of eight kids from south of Brisbane.
"When my brother was four years old and I was four months, we were the same weight," he said.
After school he moved to Sydney to pursue his sporting dreams and before long was representing Australia with the Wallabies.
Nick scored more tries on the international circuit than any other player and clubs lined up for his signature, including super rugby’s newest team, The Western Force.
"I mean every man’s got to find themselves and I found myself in bloody Western Australia of all places there was as far away as I could.
"I think I needed it"
It was in WA he got the moniker 'Honey Badger" for his take-no-prisoners approach to Rugby.
" I come across this little mongrel and just the way it approached life I thought that’s outstanding."
"They run 40k a day they bloody attack the most venomous animals in the world and eat them and then when they get bitten — which they’re not immune to — they pass out for a good few hours and wake up and continue eating."
But through all the laughs and glory on the football field, his loyalty to his family remained number one and, in his own words, he wants others to live their life the same way.
"For those watching I hope they bloody take time out of their life pick up your nuts and do it," Nick told Sunday Night.
"I can tell you it takes it takes a big set of cags to stand in front, like regardless of your environment who’s watching around, and just flat out look at them and go, bang 'I love you mate you’ve been here for me in all these times you know'."
"Give them a big hug, he’s your old man, why is it so hard?"