“They told us she had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and needed to start treatment immediately.”
At this time of the year, Lucy should be looking forward to Christmas. She should be excitedly counting down the days until she can spend the festive season with family and friends – just like any other 14-year-old.
But for Lucy, she will be facing her fourth Christmas in hospital undergoing harrowing cancer treatment in a bid to save her life.
Lucy was just nine when she was first diagnosed with cancer. In the following nine months, Lucy endured 17 operations and gruelling chemotherapy therapy that caused severe side effects and wreaked havoc on her young body.
No child should have to go through this and no parent should have to watch their child suffer in this way.
After two years of pain and uncertainty, Lucy was given an 85% chance of survival.
Then last November the family was hit by a bombshell: their worst fears were realised.
Lucy had relapsed.
Research is the key to reducing side effects
Lucy’s best hope of survival now is a bone marrow transplant. For some leukaemia patients, bone marrow transplants can be a cure. But the treatment can have severe side effects.
Right now, Cancer Council Queensland is funding Dr Kate Gartlan from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute to study one of the key problems associated with bone marrow transplants – severe inflammatory complications.
Dr Gartlan and her team have identified a protein that appears to play an important protective role early after transplant that limits inflammation and tissue damage.
No child or family should have to spend Christmas facing cancer
Kids like Lucy are why your support is needed. She’s having a bone marrow transplant every month for 12 months.
She’s really suffering. And treatments like hers come with a risk of inflammatory complications.
When asked about her hopes for Lucy, Julie simply said, “just that she can resume a normal life and that she’s got many years ahead of her. That she survives.”
Your donation will help stop cancer devastating the lives of children like Lucy. It will bring hope to families and give them more Christmases together.