Sophie was 6 weeks old when her mum noticed she had a glow in her right eye. It was a of couple days before her 6 week midwife check up so at the appointment, the midwife had a look at her eye. With her quick actions in having Sophie fast tracked to the hospital for a check up with the eye clinic the following day, Sophie was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in her right eye. The doctors organised for her to fly to Brisbane the following week when Sophie was only 7 weeks old. She met with her doctor to figure out what had to be done to save her life. It was discovered that Sophie had to have the tumour and eye removed and replaced with a donor eye as well as the lens that sits in front of it. She was 8 weeks old when the surgery was performed. Sophie was lucky enough not to have to go through chemo but still had to have frequent visits to Brisbane every 3 months for the first two years, every 6 months for the next 2 years and then yearly appointments. She is still having her yearly check ups to this day. Sophie is turning 10 in July, she is a strong willed, happy girl and we are very lucky to have her here today…
On 24th March 2018, Nayte’s father noticed Nayte had a swollen testicle. He was taken to the doctor and with no improvement after several days, he was given an ultrasound. A serious infection was found so the doctor sent Nayte to hospital on 29th March where another ultrasound and blood tests were done. Everything kept coming back as normal so Nayte was admitted to hospital and a further blood test was done to look for markers that indicate cancer. On 30th March, the family were told that Nayte had testicular cancer. On Easter Sunday, 1st April, Nayte had a CT scan and surgery to remove the tumour. He recovered very well from surgery and was allowed to go home that afternoon. Tests were done and it came back as a germ cell tumour. He was very lucky that is was stage 1. Nayte continued lots of ultrasounds, x-rays, blood tests and oncologist appointments weekly until his levels came back to normal. He then went to fortnightly, monthly, 3 monthly, 6 monthly and now is on yearly appointments with the Brisbane oncologist. Nayte recovered very well and has bounced back amazingly… he’s a little fighter.
On 11th November 2014 Darcie’s life changed forever. Darcie was a typical 4 year old when her mum noticed that the right side of her tummy was harder than the left. Tests were done and Darcie’s bloods showed slightly elevated white blood cells. She was sent to Townsville Hospital for further investigation. Darcie was diagnosed with cancer and was sent immediately to Brisbane where the family were told that Darcie had Wilms Tumour, a type of kidney cancer. Darcie went in for surgery as the tumour was growing rapidly and they didn’t want to waste any time starting treatment. A biopsy was done and it was found that the tumour had a necrotic centre, meaning Darcie’s body had fought the cancer. This type of cancer is typically formed when the baby is forming and presents at the age of about 2 years old. Darcie was nearly five and she had been living with the tumour in her body that whole time. The cancer was growing rapidly and the risk of it attaching and affecting other organs was high. She had weekly chemotherapy and checks to monitor the size of the tumour and on the 16th December, Darcie had surgery to remove the tumour and her right kidney. Following this was 7 days of intensive radiation, followed by 5 months of chemotherapy. On 1st May 2015, Darcie received her last dose of chemotherapy and two weeks later she was “No Evidence of Disease”. Checks started at monthly for a year, 3 monthly for 2 years, 6 monthly for 2 years and yearly after 5 years. 7 years on and Darcie still travels back to Brisbane to be reviewed by her team. She has not long celebrated her 13th birthday and is now in year 8 of high school. She is happy and healthy. She is here and she is a fighter…
Zavier was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in July 2012, just one week after his 3rd birthday. After 1161 days of treatment he is now in remission. At that time, the family were to move to Far North QLD. Instead, they moved into Ronald MacDonald House, next to the hospital in North Melbourne. The first 9 months of treatment were really rough on Zavier and the family. After the first month of treatment, he didn’t look like the same boy as the steroids caused an uncontrollable hunger. He would need to eat all through the night. He lost the use of his legs and was either in a pram or carried. He slowly built up strength again in the legs but has never fully recovered. He had weekly chemo and lumbar punctures and extra visits to the hospital for infections and pancreatitis. The worst was before his last strong dose of chemo on delayed intensification. He ended up with mucositis and methotrexate poisoning. He couldn't open his mouth to eat or talk so was fed and medicated through his port and a line in his arm. After he recovered, Zavier moved onto maintenance. He had blood tests every 2 weeks and chemo every 4 weeks and went to Brisbane every 12 weeks for a lumbar puncture and chemo. His life was run by steroids which seemed to have the worst affect on him. After finishing treatment in September 2015, he slowly improved as the steroids and chemo left his system.
Our Angels & Heros
Meet the beautiful faces of Childhood Cancer