Popular television presenter Barry Du Bois has faced a tough battle over the past few years as he continues his fight against cancer, but the proud father has claimed he’s not going to let his illness stop him from creating happy memories with his beloved children.
The 59-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 for the second time, after first battling it in 2010, and he’s since shared regular updates on his journey with his fans to inspire others to remain positive amid their own health battles. Now speaking out again, The Living Room host has explained how he doesn’t want to come across as weak to his two kids and is determined to continue life with a big smile on his face.
Sharing an update of his health with the Australian Men’s Health magazine this week, Barry said he wants his twins Bennett and Arabella to have positive memories of him just as he has of his own father. The popular building expert explained he wants to be known to them as a “powerful man” and for those uplifting memories to be passed on to his grandkids in the future.
“I have these incredible memories of the strength of my father, and I was very worried that my own children would remember me as a weak person who was a burden on their mother,” he told the publication, according to The Daily Mail. Barry has been very open about his cancer journey to date, speaking to Starts at 60 earlier this year before his return to The Living Room.
In the exclusive chat the dad revealed he didn’t require any chemo or radiotherapy at the time but was undergoing an experimental treatment to “fill in some holes that were once tumours in bones”. “I’m on an ongoing experimental treatment, which they’re punching away with, but treatment is as much about the things you do as it is medicine,” he explained. “My diet is in great shape, I’m getting great exercise, I’m having great conversations with beautiful people which is great for my brain.”
Praising the constant support of his children and wife, he then added: “I’ve [also] got my beautiful friends on the Living Room … Your brain and psyche have to be in good shape, your gut has to be in good shape as well, [and] your muscles have to be in good shape.” Barry will celebrate his 60th birthday next year, and while he’ll no doubt be making big plans for the milestone nearer the time, he joked that his main goal was to “stay living”.
Bennett and Arabella were born via surrogate, with Barry and his wife travelling to India in 2012 to welcome them into the world. Leonie was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2004 after suffering a series of miscarriages, and she was forced to undergo a hysterectomy at the time – stopping any hopes of carrying a child. The couple looked into IVF and adoption, but eventually settled on surrogacy.
Asked if he’d told his twins about his illness this time around the TV favourite explained to Starts at 60 earlier this year: “No-one’s getting out of here alive, we’re all dying, and I don’t focus on that. They know that daddy was in hospital last year but they also know that if we eat well and exercise well and don’t walk around with no shoes on in the rain, we’ll be healthier.”
Leonie has been a constant support to Barry throughout his hospital stints and ongoing treatment over the years. “She’s been a support to me since the day I met her,” Barry said of his devoted wife. “I think we’re a sum of every day added up. Everything good and bad that’s ever happened to us has a lot to do with the way we think about every day that approaches us.”
Understanding that it would be difficult on any husband or wife to watch on as their partner goes through a health battle the star gave some advice adding: “I’m an ambassador of R U OK? And there’s always a positive in communicating, asking a question, engaging in conversation and following that up if you think there’s something amiss.
“But my advice is pretty simple, it doesn’t matter what it is, balance is important, honesty is important and investing in what gives you a return. If you get a return from saying something, try that… I always say I’ve never made a mistake in my life it’s just a stack of things I’m not going to do again. If I say something to someone and they don’t like it, I’m not going to keep saying it.”
Barry is regularly praised for his positivity and happiness, both on and off The Living Room, and he insisted he’d advise anyone to focus on a similar mindset when they’re going through difficult times. “My advice for anybody about anything is just see what you’re going to get from your investment,” he said. “If you invest in DIY, you’re going to get something that you created, if you invest in positivity and maybe smile at someone, you’ll probably get a smile back. If you’re going to invest in negativity, there will probably be a bad dividend.”
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