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How Barry Du Bois left Amanda Keller in awe as he fights his second cancer battle

Barry's strength and bravery is an inspiration to his Living Room co-star.

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It was destined to be the friendship that topped all friendships when Barry Du Bois starts talking about the first moment he set eyes on Amanda Keller at one of those network parties where everyone talks too loudly or seems lost in their mobile phones.
"I saw her and I was a little starstruck," the 58-year-old admits, sheepishly laughing. "She came over, said hello and we started talking, and it seemed we led parallel lives. We'd both been through things like IVF and we'd both lost our mums. We shared a lot of life experiences.
"We talked most of the evening together – I know I didn't talk to anyone else. That's the thing with Amanda. She's 100 per cent present. When you talk to Amanda, that's who you get. The whole and full Amanda Keller – and it's a beautiful thing."
Amanda smiles when she remembers that first fateful meeting, an encounter which she happily admits changed her life in an instant and for the better! She was delivered one of the greatest gifts in life – a best friend forever, no matter what.
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Amanda and Barry's friendship has survived the toughest of times. (Image: @livingroomtv/ Instagram)
"When I met Barry, I felt like I'd met the most incredible man," she tells It's Your Day. "I felt like I already knew him. We talked about everything… IVF, babies, family and life!"
This beautiful meeting of souls happened in 2011, when Amanda, 57, was hosting her top-rating radio show, Jonesy & Amanda, on 101.7 WS FM. The Living Room was still 12 months away from its debut, and Barry was a breakout star on a show called The Renovators.
"When I met Barry, I felt like I'd met the most incredible man," Amanda recalls of her Living Room co-star. (Image: supplied)

Luckiest man alive

While his show only lasted a year, Barry joined Amanda on The Living Room couch and their friendship soared from strength to strength, but never more so than in the past two years when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow.
But no matter how bad things get, Baz remains defiant in the face of the diagnosis. He firmly believes that he can beat the disease with the power of positive thinking – and the love of his beautiful family.
Spending much quality time with wife Leonie and their seven-year-old twins, Arabella and Bennett, the TV show host cherishes their love and support, describing himself as "the luckiest man alive". He extends his gratitude to friends and the thousands of fans who keep sending him well wishes, too.
WATCH: The emotional moment Barry Du Bois reveals on The Living Room that his cancer has returned. Story continues ater video...
"He never put it in a scary context, and to be honest it was only when I saw it written about two weeks later that I realised the enormity of what he was going through," she admits. "It's typical of Barry.
He doesn't give into fear. He tells you there's something going on but he's fine... it's only when I saw the bigger picture that I got frightened for him to be honest. He's the strongest person in the world and there's no space for fear in his life.
"He gets up every day and he feels the most blessed man in the world, and that gift he gives to other people. What a gift it is for us to see how to live in the midst of what must be terrifying. Millions of us can learn from Barry."

Unassuming at heart

While Barry has said he didn't get scared despite the odds against him in this epic battle, he now admits the fear that stalks anyone facing such a life-defining challenge does, at times, hit him.
"We're all doing our best – none of us are getting out of here alive. I'm personally trying to stay as fit as I possibly can. I'm doing my gut the best I can for it, by eating really good food. I'm doing my body the best I can by exercising as much as I can and I meditate. I have beautiful people around, which is great for my brain and my nervous system. I'm going pretty good. I've got a beautiful family and I'm very happy.
"But everybody gets scared occasionally," he says. "I used to say no, but what I really mean is I don't invest in negativity. I've gone through some medical issues but I have two beautiful children, a gorgeous wife, amazing friends and I'm sitting here talking to you because I'm on one of the best shows on Australian television that's up for a Logie this year.
"There's no point saying life's sh*t. It doesn't matter where you're at. I believe we're a sum of every day added up. I have the thoughts and well wishes and love of many people I've never met and the strength that gives me is incredible."
Barry with his beloved family. (Image: @baz_dubois/ Instagram)
Baz may seem heroic in his determination to defy the doctors but, endearingly unassuming at heart, he's much more comfortable talking about his best mate Amanda than himself and the hurdles he's yet to leap.
"I admire her incredibly," he says, urging everyone to vote for Amanda for the TV WEEK Gold Logie, not just because she's a brilliant TV presenter, but also because she's one of the best women he's been fortunate enough to share his life with.
"I always wonder about Amanda – why is she so special, why is she so special to me and everyone she talks to, and I think it's because of her balance. She's an incredible wife, mum and friend.
"A friend is someone who gives you a sense of security, a sense of nurturing and warmth. A friend is someone you don't always talk to, but knows you might need a shoulder occasionally."
"I admire her incredibly," Barry has high praise for Amanda. (Image: Channel Ten)
Barry and Amanda have made many special memories over the years, which have helped to solidify their unbreakable bond. And their spouses are the greatest of mates, too!
"Leonie and Amanda are very close," says Barry. "They adore and respect each other incredibly."
The friendship group hangs out and has coffee. Recently Barry even helped Amanda's husband Harley renovate his art gallery.
"We're a pretty tight little group, there's no doubt about it," he adds.
One fond memory that stands out amongst the hundreds already made between the two stars was one particularly special karaoke evening held at the house of The Living Room co-host Miguel Maestre.
Amanda, Leonie and all their kids were happily belting out tunes that night, but Barry relates how he passed over the mic, admitting he was "so atrocious".
WATCH: The Living Room gang have fun doing a "Fashion Turn" at the TV WEEK Logies. Story continues after video...

Incredibly special friends

But with the good days come the bad. And that time came when Baz and his family were delivered the shock news that cancer had returned for a second time. In 2010 he was diagnosed with a cancer of the immune system, which destroyed the vertebrae at the top of his spine, but was successfully treated.
"We very much hugged, cried and supported each other. Amanda's an incredible support for me and always has been and always will be. When you know you have a friend so invested in you, that you have in any circumstance, it gives you a sense of strength," says Barry.
In a Instagram post in July 2018, Barry thanked the nurses and staff at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre for their care. (Image:@baz_dubois/Instagram)
"She's an incredible girl, there's no doubt about it. She took it terribly. She told me – and I know she believes this – 'if anyone can get through this, you can, and we're going to do everything to help you.'
"If you have a good friend, you don't always have to say anything to know what they're thinking. That's the relationship I have with her. That's the balance of love and security we have for each other.
"When I think back to our first meeting in 2011, it serves as a good lesson in life. You can glance at someone in a crowded room and that could be the start of something incredibly special."
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