When Nic Jovanovic decided to go on reality TV show Married at First Sight, the last person he expected to connect with was a teenager boy in Wangaratta.
But Hayden Sampson, the 16-year-old boy from Wangaratta, and Nic Jovanovic, the ex-reality husband of 'Cyclone Cyrell', have both gone through an experience few understand.
Both Nic and Hayden have been diagnosed with testicular cancer with doctors finding a tumour as well as cancerous cells in a teste in each case.
On July 31, the unlikely duo will come together to share their stories and host a cancer awareness and fundraising night in Wangaratta.
Hayden's mother Raffaella Sampson said Hayden was going through treatment around the time Married at First Sight was on television.
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"Hayden was going through chemotherapy at the time, it was very stressful and also a very emotional period," she said.
"We were watching a lot of TV and Married at First Sight to relax.
"We're watching and all of a sudden [Nic] is talking about his particular cancer and the affects - we all just sat in silence and I said 'oh my gosh'.
"I was intrigued to find out more because he had gone through the same thing Hayden had, at that time I hadn't heard of anything else who had."
After finding out Nic and Hayden had been through near identical treatment and procedures, Mrs Sampson told her husband it would be great to get Nic to an event in Wangaratta.
"My husband thought I was crazy," she said.
"And it was kinda crazy - I never thought we'd be successful."
But with Ashlee Fitzpatrick's help she managed to reach out to Nic who immediately wanted to come to Wangaratta and support Hayden.
I want to speak to Hayden and say... if people want to love you and support you and be there for you, just let them.Nic Jovanovic
For Mrs Sampson, Nic's visit is about more than meeting someone who has been on the TV or raising money for cancer treatment.
"As a mother I think it will be absolutely amazing for Hayden to be able to relate to someone who can understand him, because they've been through the exact same thing," she said.
Nic, who is based in Newcastle, was first diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was 24.
"Hayden has gone through something that, after speaking to him mum, I know was really, really similar to what I've been through, almost identical," Nic said.
"Him being so young was just devastating."
Like Hayden, when Nic was diagnosed he didn't know anyone else who had the same particular cancer.
"I couldn't really relate to anyone," he said.
"I had no one to talk to about it apart from oncologists or people who are getting treated with me."
Nic said there can be something particularly isolating about being a young person with cancer and he wants to remind Hayden he's not alone.
"I'm a bit of a lone wolf but I regret how I acted when I was first diagnosed," he said.
"I pushed a lot of people away, I felt it was something I had to deal with, I didn't want to bring anyone else down.
"So I want to speak to Hayden and say... if people want to love you and support you and be there for you, just let them. They wouldn't if they didn't want to. Let love in and let everyone be there for you."
Since telling his on-screen wife about his testicular cancer and surgical complications, Nic has become an ambassador for testicular cancer. But it's not something he planned.
"I was very invested in hopefully finding love and hopefully a wife," Nic said.
"When you're in the moment like that you don't really think about the whole of Australia watching and listening, but it is always a bit daunting telling people what I've been through."
Last year, right before the Married at First sight final reunion was filmed, Nic discovered his cancer had returned but now, he is once again in the clear.
Tickets for the July 31 event can be found by searching Shave 4 Hayden on Eventbrite.
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