Parents’ third bereavement as 20-year-old son dies weeks after cancer diagnosis


Daniel Rush, 20, has passed away less than two months after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

A 20-year-old who was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago has died. He is the third child his parents have lost.

Aucklander Daniel Rush passed away on Monday as a result of sudden complications from his brain tumor.

His parents, Stephen and Claire Rush, said he passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends.

The aggressive cancer was only discovered seven weeks before his death, when Daniel had such a headache that his parents called an ambulance.

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Stephen said they thought they would have longer with their “precious little boy”.

They had hoped to fulfill some of Daniel’s last wishes, including a visit to Kelly Tarlton’s aquarium and Auckland Zoo.

A Givealittle page set up to raise money for Daniel’s bucket list has raised nearly $24,000 in less than a week.

The Rushes said they would like to thank those who have donated for their “kindness and care”.

It is the third tragedy for the Pakuranga family. Amy, Claire’s daughter from her first marriage, took her life in 2007, at the age of 18.


A scan shows the size of the tumor in 20-year-old Daniel Rush’s brain.

Claire was pregnant with her and Stephen’s youngest child, Sophie, at the time.

Sophie had Down syndrome and was born with a complex heart defect. She died aged 9 months, in 2008.

Daniel is survived by two siblings.

Speaking to Stuff last week, Daniel’s father Stephen described him as “an angel” with a “heart full of love”.

“I know most parents would say that about their own children, and in this case it’s really true.”

Daniel was the type of person who would give a stranger his shirt off his back or his last dollar, Stephen said.

He was very sweet and polite, Claire said.

“He is loved by so many people.”

Daniel will be separated with a service at the Eastgate Christian Center on Wednesday, August 11 at 2 p.m.

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