Al hangs in there to celebrate 70th birthday
AL HANSELL didn't think he would make it to his 70th birthday.
Mr Hansell has been battling prostate cancer for 10 years, his health deteriorating over the past few years.
He struggles to walk and is mostly confined to his house.
"We don't know how much time he has got left," his daughter Tracey Hansell said.
"We are just taking each day as it comes."
But that didn't stop his family from throwing a big surprise party for his birthday.
On Anzac Day, a number of family members came from interstate to attend the party.
"My partner and I came from Sydney and his sister came from Sydney, too," Tracey said.
"When we showed up he was overwhelmed and he cried."
Tracey and her mum decorated their home in blue and yellow, the team colours of Mr Hansell's favourite rugby league team, the Eels.
They invited all of Mr Hansell's friends over for the celebration.
"We thought we would get a few friends over who do things for him and take him up to the hospital if mum can't do it," Tracey said.
"Dad thoroughly enjoyed the night sharing in stories from the past and having a good yarn with his friends."
Mr Hansell and his wife Denise celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September 2014.
His family were happy they had the chance to share another milestone with him.
"We are amazed he has got this far," Tracey said.
"A lot of the family were up in Gladstone at Christmas and he seemed to think it might be his last Christmas.
"To have dad there (on his birthday) was pretty special not just for him but for all of us.
"We are really grateful he is here."
Mr Hansell has two daughters, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
He loves fishing, spending time at his holiday home in Southend as much as possible.