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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month!

JOIN US in GOING GOLD to help raise awareness for Childhood Cancer!

During the month of September we are showcasing our special little heroes and angels, the reason for our foundation.

Charli

Charli

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
Charli
Charli

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

Our absolutely beautiful Golden Octopus Hero this week is the very cute Charli.

Her amazing family Belinda, Steven and Sienna have kindly allowed us to share her story. Thank you so much. This is her story as written by her wonderful family.
And of course brought to you by her favourite Guinea pigs, Elsa and Anna xx.

Charli's story :

Diagnosed with leukaemia ALL standard risk on 28 June 2013 at age of 2 years.

Charli's symptoms were very minor- high temps 3 days, very lethargic and loss of appetite, but what toddler isn't when sick with a virus, well that's what we all thought it was...until I demanded tests from a Doctor and within an hour we were phoned by them to rush Charli to hospital for immediate treatment......

....our perfect world was about to be turned upside down with the unbelievable news. I clearly remember the ED Doctor saying your daughter has a form of cancer "leukaemia ".....like any parent we didn't want to face reality. ..Charli was flown immediately to Brisbane for urgent treatment ..but as long days turned into weeks n months. ....life changed into a new normal medical lifestyle.......before we knew it Charli's treatment was coming to an end which we thought would never come but recently our brave little princess finished her chemotherapy treatment on 3 September 2015. She can now be a normal 4yr old.

Charli is just so beautiful she should not have had to miss this part of growing up, being confined to tubes, hospital beds and pokes and pain every day. Her family should not have been torn apart and had to endure the stress that comes with that. Together we can be the voice these kids need and we will fight for them. Charli I can't wait to meet you and your amazing family (and your Guinea pigs), I will keep fighting and we will let the world know to send a message to the government that 4% is NOT ENOUGH.
Love always Keely xxx.

Haylea

Haylea

Cancer
Haylea
Haylea

Cancer

Haylea

Maddison

Maddy

Leukaemia
Maddison
Maddy

Leukaemia

Our Golden Octopus Hero Maddy shares her story from a different point of view.

I recently asked my older sister if she would like to write a post for my page.
I thought you've heard my point of view on being diagnosed, but how about hearing it from a siblings point of view.
I've always felt guilty about stealing mums' attention away from her, so to hear it from her and what it was like to be in her position was eye-opening.
Cancer doesn't just affect the patient, but parents, siblings, friends and many others. Here is her letter;

"My little sister Maddy had being complaining for weeks about having a sore hip, but of course none of us thought anything of it. I even made fun of the way she was walk, telling her she was a pretender, that she just didn't want to go school. We’d only just started at a new school 2 weeks before and she didn’t have friends, I thought she was just trying to find ways to stay home. After complaining for a week, mum finally decided to take her to the doctors. They were at the doctors for what felt to be all night, when finally I got a phone call telling me to pack us all some clothes and that we were going to Brisbane for a couple of days because Maddy was 'sick'.

I wasn’t sure of what kind of ‘sick’, but I could hear in mums’ voice that something wasn't right. I thought that our family was bulletproof from anything bad like 'cancer,’ so I was more excited for a holiday to Brisbane! Within 24 hours of being in Brisbane though, we heard the words no one ever expects to hear. Your daughter/sister has leukaemia.

I remember mum telling me how lucky we were to get her to the hospital when we did because the cancer was pretty far progressed and they weren't sure if she was going to make it. I noticed after they said that just how much weight my sister really had lost, she was literally just a skeleton. She looked really sick, we just hadn’t noticed because we saw her every day. We saw it then though.

The rest of the day was filled with doctors, nurses and lots of big doctor words. No one bothered to explain to me what the words meant so I was left feeling very confused. The only constant though that kept going through my head, like a tape recorder was, ‘Okay my little sister has cancer?!’ Why her?’

Out of all of us 4 kids she was always the little goody two shoes, the smart one, the one that was never ever sick, and the one that always listened to mum. I remember trying to pray but having never prayed before I really had no idea what I was saying or doing. I was asking 'God' ‘if you’re real why did you pick her?! Why not me?! ...’

A few days past and I knew then we weren't going home for a while, we got a little apartment right across from the children's hospital in Brisbane, it was our new home away from home. But it wasn’t exactly home; I often stayed there alone, late into the night, until mum came home from visiting Maddy in hospital. After a month or so though, Maddy and mum finally got to stay at the apartment instead of the hospital as well. Things were almost back to normal, or our new normal. We went about our lives, they were seeing the doctors most days still, but things weren’t as hectic as they were earlier. Things were going well, we had our ups and downs but we were moving forward.

One night that will stick with me though was the night Maddy and mum argued because Maddy didn't want to be fed through a nasal-gastric tube anymore. She was over it. Mum was really upset and exhausted you could just see it in her eyes. Maddy walked off, or should I say hopped off, to her room and cried and cried. I remember walking in and asking her ‘what's the matter’ and she looked me in the eyes and told me that she didn't want to die and that she was scared. The confession left me feeling like I had being shot, my stomach just dropped. I couldn't do anything to protect my little sister and I felt as though I failed as a sister.

After nearly 2 months had past I just knew it was never going to be the same. I was never going to be the center of attention in my family like I used to be. And I started to resent my sister because she was getting so much attention from everyone and I felt like I was last priority, which I was not used to at all.

When we finally got the all clear to go back home to Townsville from Brisbane, I noticed people were treating me differently, forever feeling sorry for me. I had people want to be my friend just because my sister had cancer. I started to push my family away when I got home, I was rarely at home, I would get frustrated when I was at home I never wanted to hang out with Maddy or talk to her which was not normal for me because we grew up as close as ever we were always best friends. I was selfish. I didn't want to be close to her if something was to happen. If she wasn't going to make it, I didn't want to be hurt.

Finally after months and the initial shock that she had cancer, life started getting back to normal. It didn't feel like she had cancer because she was back to being always happy and bubbly. She just felt like Maddy to me, not a cancer patient.

I think about her daily and about what she is doing now that I live in Cairns and I can’t see her every day. I don't get upset or sad anymore when I think about her and her cancer. The only time I get upset now is when I get one of those dreaded, long messages from my mum telling me that something else in Maddy’s poor body is going bad. Even then though, my sadness only lasts a couple of hours because I know she is strong enough to make it through anything.

I can't say that nothing good came out of her cancer journey because a lot of good things have happened. I met Jared (my boyfriend of 4 years) through Camp Quality, we've being to the snow and we’ve even gone to London and Paris through the Make-A-Wish Foundation!

Every day I am grateful that she is still with us and that we are one of the lucky ones who haven’t lost a sibling or daughter from cancer. "

Thank you for sharing another side of the Cancer story.

Love Keely xxx

Luke

Luke

DSRCT
Luke
Luke

DSRCT

This Golden Octopus Hero is a hero in many ways.
He has loaned himself to us to help the kids, but he is a champion in his own right.
The amazing Luke from Luke Spalding Racing has been battling a rare childhood cancer for a few years now,
however he raises money to buy iPads for sick kids in hospital every Christmas.
He is a champion Formula 3 racing driver and a shining example to all our kids of strength and kindness.
Thank you Luke for showing them all what can be achieved.
Love you to bits Keely x

Frankie

Frankie

Acute Myloid Leukaemia
Frankie
Frankie

Acute Myloid Leukaemia

Our very special Golden Octopus Hero is a true hero in every sense of the word.
She still has a long way to go and we are so grateful to her Mum and Dad, Kate and Duncan and her two sisters Madison and Camilla for sharing her story with us.
This is her story as told by her beautiful family.

Frankie has a smile that lights up a room with a kind, boisterous and hilarious personality to match. She loves kittens, barbies, princesses and playing hide and seek. Her favourite colours are pink and purple. She seems just like every other 3 year old girl, except she’s not. She is enduring something that no person should ever have to.

One Sunday night in February this year, Frankie was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukaemia (AML). AML is rare, aggressive and comes on very suddenly. Within days of her diagnoses her first round of high risk chemo began which was soon followed by the second. After weeks of horrific symptoms unfortunately her results returned showing that the chemo had not worked and the leukaemia had continued to spread.
From here, her best chance of survival was a Bone Marrow Transplant. After a search of the world donor registry, there was no suitable donor match for Frankie as she has a rare tissue type. Instead they had to use a cord blood donation, which means they have one shot at the transplant with just a small amount to work with. Once they have used this there are no other matches left for Frankie. During this process she remains in isolation, unable to talk, eat, smile or sit up. Our beautiful girl is merely a shadow of herself. She continues to receive blood transfusions and go under anaesthetic for countless procedures to fight the horrific health complications her cancer and transplant have caused.

Throughout her battle Frankie’s parents have had to remain at the hospital 24/7 to help care for her on a rotating shift. One night they will stay with Frankie the other night they are home caring for their other
their other daughter, Camilla who is in her first year at school

She is our brave beautiful hero

Thank you so much, you are all heroes.
Frankie couldn't get a bone marrow match because we don't have enough people put their name on the National Bone Marrow Register, please do.
Frankie is kept alive by blood transfusions and many more like her are, please become a blood donor.
Brave and gorgeous Frankie we will battle together for all of our kids.
Keep fighting beautiful we are right beside you.
Love Keely xxx.

Ashton

Ashton

Cancer
Ashton
Ashton

Cancer

Cleo

Cleo

Cancer
Cleo
Cleo

Cancer

Cleo

Ryder

Ryder

Medulloblastoma
Ryder
Ryder

Medulloblastoma

Our amazing and special Golden Octopus Hero this week is the fantastic Ryder.
He has been through so much and still has so far to go.
He can't smile due to the damage his tumour and surgeries have caused and he will have lots of rehabilitation and we will be the first to post a pic of him smiling as soon as his wonderful mum Jemma shows us one.
Thank you Jemma and Aaliyah his beautiful sister and his best mate Hiro for sharing his story with us.

Hi my name is Jemma and my son Ryder was diagnosed on the 11th Feb 2015 with a Medulloblastoma Brain Tumour.
He has/is/will endure so much from his brain injury and harsh treatments, but most of the time he remains a happy little boy.

Ryder remains NED after having a full resection, 6 weeks of Radiotherapy and 7 rounds of Chemotherapy. He has 2 more rounds left then we can start to concentrate more on his rehabilitation.

Ryder loves nothing more than being at home with his family. He has a beautiful older sister Aaliyah whom he adores. He also has a very special friend at home by the name of Hiro. Hiro was born on the same day as Ryder's tumour resection and he is a gorgeous Ragdoll. Ryder named him after the little boy in Big Hero 6, his favourite movie. ♥️

Thank you so much Jemma, this is so unfair that Ryder has to suffer all this and yet he is so young.
We need to stand together and fight to spread awareness and make the government listen to increase funding into research for our children.
We will keep fighting Ryder and you keep fighting too little buddy.
All my love Keely xx.

Will

Will

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Will
Will

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Will was diagnosed with ALL in August 2006 when he was 18 months old.
He had many many complications during his 14 month stay in Brisbane,
part of them meant he ended up loosing his oesophagus (they made him a new one out of his stomach),
terrible chest issues and an ongoing chronic cough.
Will is just beautiful and still has an amazing smile.
Thank you Will and we will continue to fight.
Love Keely xx

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You can support our cause by making a Donation or  purchasing official Golden Octopus Foundation merchandise from our Store.

Overall there are eight groups of childhood cancer so our logo and the octopus represent the eight arms of childhood cancer.

The Golden Octopus Foundation’s objectives are to improve oncology facilities in all regional areas, including the implementation of childhood cancer nurses, this will alleviate long stays away from families and friends. Wherever possible the foundation will also offer support to families and a long term objective will be to assist families to access trials which may not have been possible previously. We will work closely with other childhood cancer research charities to enable this to happen.

The Golden Octopus Foundation Committee is formed by a group of educated and experienced women who are mothers, relatives or friends of children affected by cancer.
Initially the Golden Octopus Foundation will encompass all areas of Queensland, but as it grows so will its coverage of other states of Australia.

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