Angels & Heroes

Meet the beautiful faces of Childhood Cancer.
Every one of these little heroes has been through more in their young lives than anyone ever should.

Not all superheroes wear capes

Anthony

Anthony

Cancer
Anthony
Anthony

Cancer

Anthony

Kyra

Kyra

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
Kyra
Kyra

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

Our gorgeous and amazing Golden Octopus Hero is beautiful Kyra.

Her amazing family Jessica, David and Rhianna, Phil, Cody, Shannon, and Narla have so kindly shared her story for us all.

I have a gorgeous, beautiful, kindest hearted 8 year old daughter Kyra who has just been diagnosed with Pre B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. It took the doctors 2 months to diagnose her, so she has been through so much already before we got the diagnosis. We are only 2 weeks into our journey from the day we found out she had ALL. We are all still shattered and trying to come to terms with this horrible news. She is fighting like a warrior and we are so proud at how well she is doing. Everyone mostly points out that after every gruelling procedure, treatment, everything she goes through, she still manages to smile. She is amazing!

Her journey so far is.... On The 1st of April 2016, Kyra was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. As a family we were devastated but we stuck together and gave Kyra the support she needed. Because she is 8 and we had to be upfront and honest about it to her, Kyra is finding it hard to understand why it is her that has to get sick. She is mostly scared about losing her hair because she just loves her hair! She has had 2 rounds of chemo, 2 lumbar punctures and 2 lots of chemo in her spinal fluid, a blood transfusion. She also is on more medication because her body had a bit of a bad reaction to the steroids she has to take. She always has a smile on her gorgeous face through the good and bad times.

Kyra's favourite animal is a bunny, she LOVES rabbits. Her hobbies are sewing with her Nanna, ballet, playing cards and board games. She loves a challenge and is a very smart, talented and gifted young girl.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Kyra stay brave beautiful girl.
We all ask the question why did I have to get sick and no one can answer that but believe me we need to stay brave and keep smiling and we get through it.
That doesn't mean it isn't going to be tough on all of us and we don't deserve to be sick.
Hopefully one day we won't need to be sick anymore. We just need to keep fighting together and hopefully one day there will be no more cancer for kids or anyone.
Love always Keely xxx

James

James

Hepatoblastoma
James
James

Hepatoblastoma

This beautiful Golden Octopus Angel Hero is the amazing James.

Thank you to Gail and Richard for letting us honour your beautiful boy.

"On the 7th of February 2011 James's life was turned upside down. At only 5.5 years old he was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma or in easy terms Liver cancer.

He'd only been at school for one week when he was pushed off the playground. A few days later he ended up in hospital complaining of stomach pains. As a parent we were just thinking appendicitis. How wrong we were. After an ultra sound, an MRI and eventually a biopsy our worst nightmares were answered. Our sweet little boy had cancer. A multitude of thoughts went through my mind

"Kids don't get cancer.. Only adults do"
"How could this have happened to us, things like this happen to "other" people"
And the worst "My child has cancer, is he going to die?"

After assurances from our oncologist that this was a better type of cancer to have, easily treatable, we felt a bit better.

Over the course of the next few months, James had round after round of Chemo, some of which worked - some didn't. We were also told that he would need a liver resection, but they couldn't do it in Adelaide (where we live) and would have to go to Melbourne.

Come Easter 2011, chemo wasn't doing its job. The tumour wasn't shrinking so not only did we have to go to Melbourne for surgery, he also needed a different type of Chemo over there.

We managed to get through Mothers Day at home, but had to be in Melbourne the following week. After a long 10 days in hospital battling fevers, pains and numerous other side effects, we were given great news. The chemo was working and James would be able to have surgery soon.

The 15th of June 2011, (the day after his 6th birthday) James went in for his liver resection. 8 hours later, his Doctor came out and told us that he was in the clear. The surgery had gone well, they had removed 5/6s of his liver, and the only bit remaining was healthy and would regrow to full size within 6 weeks. We were sooooo relieved.

We spent the next few weeks in Melbourne while James recovered, and headed home in early August. We were so happy to be heading home, starting life again, James was going back to school and we were as normal as a childhood cancer family could be.

On the 7th of September, James had to head back to the hospital for another MRI as his blood tests had shown his AFP levels were a bit high. The next day, our whole world crumbled again. Not only had James's cancer come back, but it was in 3 different spots, including 6 spots on his lungs. It was now a matter of allowing him to live his life (what was left of it) to the fullest.

Mid September we headed to QLD for our Make a Wish holiday, and by the time we got home James's health had deteriorated quite rapidly. Early October James had a morphine pack attached to his port to help with his breathing and pain. Day by day he became more and more detached and lethargic.

At 6:05pm on Monday 17th October 2011 James gave up his gallant fight. Surrounded by those he loved and cherished - his Mum, Dad, Brother and Uncle.

Fly Free Beautiful boy, you will always be remembered as a hero of this horrible disease."

Written by his loving family Gail, Richard, Harrison and Andrew.

All our love to your family love Keely xx

Declan

Declan

Lymphoma
Declan
Declan

Lymphoma

Our amazing Golden Octopus Hero is the wonderful Declan.
We are so grateful to his Mum Michelle, Dad Charles, Brother Zachary, with Lilly and Smudge for sharing his story with us.

This is Declan's story as told by his amazing family.

After fainting at school & a trip to the emergency department at Caloundra Hospital on the 25th November 2015, Declan was transported to LCCH with a mass in his chest cavity.

6 days later, 1st Dec, he was diagnosed with a Primary Mediastinal B cell lymphoma.

He had 6 cycles of chemo, of 5 days each, initially. Tests in April found the lymphoma hadn't all gone. He returned for 2 more much stronger rounds of chemo, and had a stem cell harvest in between them, incase he needed a transplant in the future. Declan Was given remission on the 4th August 2016, 3 days before his 15th birthday, but still had to undergo 13 days of radiation treatment.

Declan is a gamer, loves Anime and TV shows like Arrow, Flash, Jessica Jones & Daredevil.

He is full of Sass and extremely brave, he is our hero

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing young man with us.
Declan you shouldn't have had to go through this and we will keep fighting to raise awareness so everyone will listen and improve the amount that is spent on research into childhood cancers.
Keep well and good on you for a truly great battle
Love Keely x.

Liz

Liz

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
Liz
Liz

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

Our absolutely gorgeous Golden Octopus Hero is the very brave and beautiful Lizzie.
We are honoured for her Mum Mel to share her story with us, thank you Mel and Lizzie.
Lizzie comes from the most beautiful place in the world the Atherton Tablelands.

This is her story as told by her beautiful Mum, and her pet puppy Jasmine:

Liz was diagnosed one month shy of her second birthday with b-cell ALL (standard risk).
I'm a GP (Doctor) and had noticed some bruises on her on the Wednesday. Just the legs.
And I thought it was because of daycare or usual toddler clumsiness.
She had been a bit off the last week or two with viruses and usual daycare bugs. And she was a bit pale, but it was winter.

I told myself she was fine and then her gums bled when I brushed them the next day.
I took her to ED with a heavy heart and premonition of what was to come.
A junior resident handed me the blood results and that is how I was told Liz had leukaemia.

Despite the poor start Liz has traveled well. She is an amazing and strong young girl.
We are due to finish maintenance this year if all goes well, she will be enjoying having a normal life - she loves to dance ballet, swims, LOVES arts and crafts and thinks that unicorns are awesome.
She has a pet puppy - Jasmine - whom she adores.
I'm a single mum. My Mum, Sue, took a lot of time off and came to Brisbane to help me get through Lizzie's treatment which we can't thank her enough for that.

It hasn't always been smooth - Liz suffered a blood vein clot (similar to a stroke) as a result of one of the chemo agents, but fully recovered after a week or so in hospital and some ICU input.
As a Doctor I was shocked and appalled at the lack of funding for children's cancer and also at the outdated therapies we use.
I cannot believe these kids are given adult doses of medications for their chemo and without research these treatments won't change.
Kids will suffer side effects of the crappy chemo we feed them like Liz did.

Liz is has a good prognosis, there are so many others who won't.
It breaks my heart. Anyway, I'm passionate and I care.

Our world and our hero

Lizzie, Mel, Sue and Jasmine we can't thank you enough for sharing your world with us.
Mel you are so right there isn't enough funding, 4% just isn't enough that is why we need to increase awareness about our kids as awareness leads to increased funding and that leads to a cure.
We will fight this together and Lizzie together we will win. Keep fighting beautiful.
Love to you all, Keely xxxx

Bayley

Bayley

Cancer
Bayley
Bayley

Cancer

Bayley

Edmund

Edmund

Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis
Edmund
Edmund

Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

Our amazing Golden Octopus Hero is our amazing Edmund.

His beautiful family have happily shared his story with us which is wonderful.

This Is Edmunds story as told by his beautiful Mum Natasha, Dad Andrew, twin siblings Oliver and Grace and Taz, Bunny and Tiny.

Just after Christmas this year we noticed Edmund had a bump on his forehead. We assumed being a nearly 2 year old boy he had bumped his head on something. After a few weeks the bump had not gone so off to the GP we went, thankfully we have an amazing GP who decided to get it checked out just in case, ......... well from there there was a whirlwind of tests to finally come to a diagnosis of LCH (langerhans cell histiocytosis).

Edmund had surgery to remove the lesion in his head which has eaten a hole in his skull and attached to the lining of his brain. For now and hopefully forever that is all the treatment he needs, he will get checked regularly to ensure everything is going to plan but so far so good. He has been an absolute superstar through the whole process, and all the staff at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne have been amazing. Edmund is known as 'Mr cheeky pants' by his 4 year old twin sibling's Oliver and Grace and they all love playing outside together.

Our amazing hero

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing son's story with us.
This type of childhood cancer is the same as mine and is very rare but there is a lot of work happening in the US to find a cure.
We will keep spreading awareness with help from parents like yourselves and the strength of kids like Edmund, Mr Cheeky Pants we will continue to fight this beast together.
Love Keely xxx.

Claire

Claire

Brain Cancer
Claire
Claire

Brain Cancer

This beautiful Golden Octopus Angel Hero is the gorgeous Claire.

Her story is written by her loving family Robert, Lynette and Liam.

Claire Elise Ollier had a zest & enthusiasm for life. Her smile captured hearts & won admirers, she seemingly had a bright future to look forward to.

At the age of 8, Claire was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour. Claire’s initial symptoms were very subtle... She was often tired. As parents, we put that down to long days at school & the approaching end of semester.
You see, there was not an activity that Claire was not involved in: she played tennis 3 times/week, danced 3 times/week, was in the school choir, the school orchestra, attended diligently to her school work and generally played hard. As parents, we were exhausted, just keeping up with her.So in the final weeks of term 3, when Claire would come home from school and just want to watch TV we thought, this is what normal kids probably do...

Claire came second in her school cross country, just 2 months before. There was absolutely no lead up to ever thinking our daughter had cancer, let alone brain cancer.

On Father’s day, 2013, Claire’s father noticed an odd, high stepping gait with Claire & took her to the Emergency Department at the local Children’s Hospital. It took some convincing, 3 doctors & 4 hours later, Robert had managed to convince the Doctors, that he thought his daughter had a brain tumour.... Parents know their children best! We hoped & prayed that he was over-reacting... The next day, a MRI was scheduled & a large tumour was discovered. Our perfect world, had crumbled within 2 hours....

The exact diagnosis of the tumour is still up for debate & the diagnosis changed often, since initial discovery, to final treatment. Following biopsy, we were advised that Claire’s tumour was ‘curable’, words every parent wants to hear, to only later, being advised that the type of tumour was ‘terminal’.

We never gave up hope, convinced that our daughter was the one that would beat the cancer!!

We had protected our children from all types of childhood dangers, what we never anticipated was cancer... We did not have a family history of cancer, until Claire’s diagnosis. We didn’t know that brain cancer has the highest incidence of childhood mortality. Tragically, we were to learn that fact later...

During Claire’s illness, she was involved in fund-raising activities, for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. In Claire’s memory, we are continuing to fund-raise for childhood brain cancer research. We don’t want any other family to experience the devastation of a child/sisters death to brain cancer. If your would like to assist us in our mission, please visit Cupcakes for Claire. At one point, we were advised by Claire’s treating team, ‘that it would be easier to write a book about what we don’t know about childhood brain cancer, than what we do know!’ We want the medical profession to be all over this disease & how to cure it!

We now face everyday, with the jewel in our family crown missing & Claire’s loss is felt in everything we do as individuals & as a family unit. We will never be whole again!

Thank you so much Keely & Cathy for honouring our precious girl.

Kind regards,

Lynette

A message that Lynette and Robert both nurses would like to be told to all parents who are the advocates for their children, whether that is for cancer or any sickness, you are allowed to get a second opinion if you have a gut feel that things are not going right or are going too slow.

Cupcakes for Claire is set up in Claire's honour and will assist with any fundraising activity you would like in the Brisbane, Bellbowrie area.

Thank you to this beautiful family and all my love to you all and the beautiful Claire, who is sending her magic wishes and sprinkling fairy dust down on every cupcake her mum makes.

Love always Keely xxx

Gabby

Gabrielle

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
Gabby
Gabrielle

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

Our amazing and so cute Golden Octopus Hero is the beautiful Gabby.
Her amazing family have shared her story with us which are so grateful for.
This is her story as told by her Mum Susan, Dad Kurt, Sister Samantha and Beau the Boxer.

On 26th February 2016, Gabby fell ill suddenly with a fever and vomiting. She was taken to the Warwick hospital but was transferred to the Lady Cilento that afternoon. Gabby spent 4 days in PICU having numerous tests which revealed she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

It was the last diagnosis we expected as she appeared to be a well 2 year old....

Gabby spent 2 weeks on the ward before she was discharged. As we are from a rural area, we stayed at the leukaemia village until we were discharged back to Warwick.

Gabby has not been hospitalised since diagnosis, managing to stay well even through her 'intensive therapy'. We have learnt she is one super strong girl. There is still a lot more chemo, lumbar punctures and blood tests ahead. Treatment will continue until May 2018. We can only hope our brave battler continues along the journey as well as she has been.

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing girl with us.
She shouldn't have to show everyone how strong she is against all the treatments and everything that goes with that, she should be playing with her dolls and her dog.
Gabby we will continue to fight together, we will continue to raise awareness so funding is increased for research and I will never give up trying.
Sending all my love beautiful girl.
Love Keely xxx.

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