Well-known Launceston photographer Roy Austen has been described as an “incredible friend, colleague and an inspiration to many” by close friend Miriam Mace.
He passed away this week, aged 63.
"Roy was blessed to have wonderful friends, and one such lady has taken it upon herself to care for his son Codie-James on a long-term basis,” Ms Mace said.
“While CJ is going through a terrible time right now, I am happy to say that he has a bright future ahead of him, one filled with love and happiness."
Roy was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in January. The single father immediately began raising money to cover his funeral costs, and to make a life for CJ, 11, and their two ragdoll cats Fluffy and Gizmo.
He set up a GoFundMe campaign, which has so far raised more than $10,000.
Roy was a passionate photographer, and spent 40 years in the media industry in Launceston.
“I have some wonderful memories of my time spent with Roy,” Ms Mace, who worked with him for a number of years, said.
“Every photo shoot we went on was professional but filled with splashes of fun and laughter. Roy was always happy to try anything and did what it took to make everyone smile.
“I am proud to say I spent some of the best years of my life with this man.”
Roy started to notice a reaction to certain foods about two years ago.
It was suggested that he had eosinophilic oesophagitis, which was an inflammatory condition of the oesophagus.
“Over the next 18 months, it continued to worsen with me ending up on a liquid diet to survive, and in the process, I lost a huge amount of weight,” he told The Examiner in January.
In January this year, a CT scan was conducted and Mr Austen found out he had cancer that had spread throughout his body. The main site of the cancer was where the oesophagus meets the stomach.
“As it stands, the doctor has given me less than a year to live, but I’m losing weight too fast and I think it will be sooner rather than later,” he said in January.
Roy’s main priority from then on was to ensure CJ would be looked after.
“Obviously my medical expenses and funeral costs will need to be paid for somehow and the part I don’t want to think about, but must, is the ongoing care of CJ.
“This is devastating for me, but I am doing everything in my power to try and create the best future possible for my boy.
“For this reason, I am humbly asking for help, no matter how small.”
The GoFundMe campaign is still open for donations and the money raised is going into a trust fund for CJ.