Barista’s shock terminal cancer diagnosis: ‘I’m here to fight’

Jay Dixon’s analogy to his son was that there was an alien inside of him, and “we must expel it.”

However, this alien has cancer in his lungs, liver, and lymph nodes.

“You will never get rid of it… that is what terminal illness is,” he said, “but you can control it.”

“I am aware that I will be here for a while… and I am here to fight.”

The 45-year-old encourages others, particularly men, to obtain regular health checks, which he refers to as a “certificate of fitness.”

A couple of weeks ago, the owner of the popular Dunedin coffee shop The Daily Coffee Co contracted a bacterial infection, prompting a chest X-ray.

“They discovered something there, and a few days later, after undergoing a CAT scan, I was diagnosed with lung cancer.

That was a difficult meeting to attend.

Even more difficult for Dixon and his wife Suz was telling their two children.

The young family relocated to Dunedin approximately six years ago.

Dixon, who was raised in Auckland, attended art school. Effectively, I was a struggling artist looking for work when I discovered coffee.

In Washington, DC, he sold flat whites to “American soccer moms” while working at a Kiwi cafe.

When he returned to New Zealand, he worked for coffee expert Craig Miller for eight years, including at Miller’s Coffee on Cross St.

During the summer, he operated a coffee cart in Silo Park “to keep us afloat.” Dixon learned to roast beans under the watchful eye of Miller, whom he describes as a “old master.”

In 2016, with their then-five and seven-year-old children, the Dixons relocated to Dunedin on the advice of family friends.

“We came here and simply declared, ‘This is us’.”

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