Father with inoperable brain tumour fighting for more time

All Ryan Boerboom wants is to spend more time with his children but it comes with a $50,000 price tag.

The Marton man is battling an aggressive brain tumour which will eventually take his life. Ryan has exhausted his treatment options since a debilitating seizure revealed an inoperable brain tumour in 2012.

Initially, chemotherapy and radiation treatment helped the former engineer return to work as a PORSE in-home early childhood educator where he cared for his niece and nephew.

The headaches returned a year later and a second tumour was discovered. This time, its location inside the brain allowed the surgeons to operate, however in January this year the tumour again returned. With chemotherapy no longer working and surgeons unable to operate, his only option is a non-funded medicine called Avastin.


Ryan needs a course of medication every two weeks for the rest of his life, costing more than $50,000.

Avastin will not cure the brain tumour but will hopefully stop it from growing any bigger or at least slow it down, sister Nadine Nairne says.

His family have been fundraising and started a Give-a-Little Page to pay for the treatment which has so far raised more than $18,000.

“We just want to give him a better quality of life,” another sister Jodie Penn says.

Ryan’s children fly up from their home in Christchurch to spend the school holidays with their father. Jodie believes it is spending time with family that keeps her older brother going.

As well as his own three children, Ryan loves spending time with his 27 nieces and nephews.

PORSE Whanganui office is helping organise the Boerboom Family Gala this Saturday with all funds going to Ryan’s treatment.

“Ryan was a very special educator,” PORSE Consultant Donna Hyland says.

“He has a real zest for life and he constantly stuns people with his positivity. We at PORSE want to do what we can to make sure he can spend more time with his family.”

The team have organised family activities for the gala day.

Jodie says PORSE and the wider community have been amazing with their support.

“Ryan and his children need to have more time together. They are far too young to lose their dad, and Ryan is planning on making many more lasting memories with them,” she says.

To make a donation visit: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/helpsaveryanboerboom