When single mum Marlis Dendy talks to her two young children about her devastating diagnosis, it’s about finding the positives.

“We don’t talk about what it’s going to be like in three years. We talk about what’s going to happen now,” one of her best friends, Jennifer Neech, told 7NEWS.com.au.

Among the positives for the Gold Coast woman has been the “overwhelming” support she has received.

Another is being able to spread a powerful message: get a second opinion.

“She had been misdiagnosed for quite some time,” said Neech.

“She had been seeing a doctor and became quite ill, and went to see another doctor and that’s when it became obvious she had bowel cancer.

Gold Coast woman Marlis Dendy and her children.
Gold Coast woman Marlis Dendy and her children. Credit: Supplied

“Not long after that, she was told she had secondary cancer which is in the liver and lungs.”

The diagnosis six weeks ago came after 18 months of reporting her symptoms to the original doctor, Neech explained.

For the otherwise “active and healthy” Dendy, the prognosis for the stage 4 cancer is terminal.

Fight for life

“The odds aren’t good,” Neech said.

“But she’s positive. Obviously she’s concerned about the future and her children.

“They know their mum is sick and she’s doing everything she can to get better.

“She’s looking to do anything that could prolong her life.

Friends of Gold Coast mum Marlis Dendy have rallied around her as she undergoes the health battle.
Friends of Gold Coast mum Marlis Dendy have rallied around her as she undergoes the health battle. Credit: Supplied

“They’re too young to be without their mum.

“She’s very active and healthy. She eats really well, she exercises all the time. She looks good.

“She doesn’t look sick.”

Those who know Dendy, a successful graphic designer, have rallied around her.

Community rallies

More than $18,000 has been raised for her family on GoFundMe as she undergoes the health battle.

“She has lots of wonderful friends,” Neech said.

“She has a really great network of friends. She’s involved in a lot of community things down on the Gold Coast.

“They’re really getting behind her to do what they can to help.

“Everyone’s touched by it.”

Gold Coast single mum diagnosed with terminal cancer receives ‘overwhelming’ community support
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