His dying wish was that his widow Lisa, now 29, start a family.
Last September, after a single round of IVF using sperm Gareth banked before his treatment began, Lisa gave birth to a son.
As Jack approaches his first birthday, she writes an emotional open letter to Gareth...
Dying wish: Lisa Wilkinson with her son Jack, after her late husband wished that she start a family
Sitting down to write this, I barely know where to begin.
As our beautiful boy reaches his first birthday, there is so much I wish that I could say to you.
I long to close my eyes and hear you downstairs playing cars with our son Jack — a passion of yours that he seems to share.
I want to hear his giggles as you tickle him or ruffle his soft hair.
But instead there is silence in the house, as there is every night when Jack is sleeping and I’m alone, thinking of you.
Three years ago, you lay in your hospital bed, after several rounds of chemotherapy had failed to abate your cancer’s progress, and we planned the family you knew you’d never live to see.
In those days, when we both felt so helpless, I agreed that one day, even after you’d gone, I’d have your child.
You found my promise such a comfort.
Deep down, though, I refused to accept that you wouldn’t be by my side, holding my hand, when I became a mother for the first time.
So when, in September 2008, you lost your battle after the bravest fight, I found it almost impossible to believe you had gone for ever.
But even in the depth of my grief, I never forgot our pact to start a family.
The knowledge that there was a new life — part of you — waiting to be created, gave me light on my darkest of days.
Of course, neither of us could have imagined embarking on such a traumatic course when we met and fell in love.
It’s a little ironic our story started in the hospital where Jack was eventually born.