In 2011, while Sally Obermeder was 41-weeks pregnant with her first child, she discovered a breast lump the size of a tennis ball.
As she underwent a medical examination, her husband of 16-years, Marcus, was at his desk, awaiting the phone call that would alter the course of their lives forever.
"I was at work in the city quite near to where Sally was having her breast examination when I received a call asking me to come in and pick her up,” he recalls of the devastating moment to Mamamia as part of the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign.
“The voice on the phone was very solemn so I knew immediately that they must have found some convincing evidence of cancer."
As we know from her brave decision to share her journey with the world, Sally was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer. Though he feared for the lives of his wife and that of his unborn baby, Marcus knew what he needed to do to carry the team.
"My heart sank but at the same time adrenaline kicked in… The future looked very uncertain and this really shook me to the core but I had to stay strong and step up."
Just days after giving birth to a healthy little girl, Annabelle, the TV personality endured 16 rounds of chemotherapy and two mastectomies. It’s a time Marcus recalls to be an emotional challenge, which is why he sought the help of a counsellor.
"With Sally and other family members now relying on me for emotional support I needed a trained professional who could be there for my emotional needs, someone with experience that could guide me through the uncertainty of what lay ahead," he tells the publication.
"Realistically, we both thought Sally was going to die and prepared for the worst. This is something very difficult to deal with both at a practical and emotional level," he reflected.
Sally was given the all-clear in 2012, but while she desperately wanted to grow her family, doctors told the couple that another natural pregnancy could cost her life.
“I acknowledge that I’m extremely lucky to have one child... But the yearning and desire to be a mum again is so strong and it has not passed,” The Daily Edition host said at the time.
“Before I was sick I always pictured I would have two or three children, if I was lucky enough, and I still want that for Annabelle.”
Thanks to her previous IVF treatment, Sally had four embryos remaining. All she needed was someone to carry them.
WATCH the touching moment Sally's surrogate gives birth in the video player below! Article continues...
Like most Australian states, Sally and Marcus’ home in New South Wales has strict laws on surrogacy, making it illegal to offer financial compensation to someone willing to carry your child. But if you cross our shores, all the way to the United States of America, it is a very different story.
The family decided to try their chances there, which is where they met Rachel – a selfless mother-of-three who carried their second child.
Little Annabelle, now five, happily became a sister to baby Elyssa through their surrogate in December 2016.
Now, the family couldn’t be happier, as Marcus explains what life is like for them. "We reflect on life, family, kids and grandkids and appreciate the chance we had to know love in its many forms.
“We are filled with a universal gratitude that leaves us deeply and eternally satisfied."