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We have had to delete the old gofundme page and start again. It has taken this long to put his story up. The Sunday of the June long weekend whilst down visiting my lovely in-laws i noticed that Sam's glands were visible under his right ear and neck. I thought it was from a knock he had received a few days prior. I kept an eye on it and noticed by the following Tuesday that i could actually see his glands on both sides, made an appointment with the local doctor and got him checked out. He said it was possible glandular fever and to come back in 3 to 4 weeks if his glands haven't gone down. Of course I got home and went straight to Google and typed in "enlarged lymph nodes on toddlers" it came up with fighting an infection somewhere. Fast forward a few weeks, my aunt told me to go and get Sam checked over again as his glands hadn't gone down. I went that Friday and the doctor took bloods and gave him a general check over. I noted that his tummy was slightly bloated and he was a bit paler then normal. I didn't take any notice of the bruises on his legs taking it as a young boy in daycare who loved rough and tumble. That weekend George had a tummy bug and Sam was just not himself so we put it down too maybe he had the same thing as his brother. Monday morning rocks around and I am getting everyone organised for holiday care and daycare. I am literally out the door when the phone rings. The doctor has Sam's preliminary blood results back, and wants to see us straight away to take sam down to armidale emergency, my stomach falls. George is still sick but I take him to holiday care. Go to the doctor and he doesn't say much just that its not good, hands over all the paperwork and says to meet dr Katherine Wiles the paediatrician on call. That 40minute drive was the longest ever. All the different scenarios running through my head, the top of the list was that 'c' word. Finally got into armidale emergency and saw Katherine. She checked him out and felt his tummy, noting his liver was 5cm and his spleen was 4cm palpable. Had another blood test done, noticing that it took forever to stop bleeding, and got sent up to kids ward while we waited for results. When she came in very sombre and asked if anyone else was here with me, as i also had my youngest daughter Haidee as well. "Your child has leukaemia," those were the words I never wanted to hear. "We are transporting you too john Hunter Childrens hospital tonight." Bettina my best friends mum Lyn came to give me moral support while we waited for Mitch to come. Mitch having been out of phone range most of the day came down with Nan and da and George. Fast forward... Sam, myself and Haidee were flown down to JHCH about 8.30pm that night, where we were to have chest x-rays and more testing done before we finally got the room to ourselves at 1am in the morning. January 22nd 2020, we got confirmation that Sammy has relapsed with minor central nervous system involvement. We started high dose chemotherapy in the hopes it would work and we could go to bone marrow transplant. Sadly the leukaemia came back and now we are looking at prolonging his life.


Natalie Hope
New South Wales

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