If we don’t have hope, what do we have?
“Have faith and be strong!” “If we don’t have hope, what do we have?” These were all the words that I could manage to get out while I sat across from my dearest and closest friend right after she told me the most heartbreaking words any parent could hear “my son has cancer”.
Holding back my own tears I found myself repeating those words back to myself “Have faith and be strong! We must have hope!”
Today I share this families battle to show them that they are not alone.
In July 2012, after countless visits to the paediatrician, Adrian’s parents felt something was not right and rushed him to Randwick Children’s Hospital. The next day they received the devastating news that Adrian had stage 4 Neuroblastoma Intermediate risk. Within 48 hours, chemotherapy started and during the next 6 months Adrian endured 8 rounds of chemotherapy and surgery to remove the primary tumour located on one of his adrenal glands. Treatment finished in January 2013 with residual disease remaining.
In June 2015, Adrian unfortunately relapsed. Treatment once again started immediately this time with the high risk protocol which consisted of 10 rounds of chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, 5 sessions of immunotherapy and 28 sessions of radiation to both his neck and left eye orbit.
Adrian completed his treatment in November 2016. However despite the fact that there were still remaining traces of Neuroblastoma behind his left eye orbit, in February 2017 the family received the wonderful news that he was clear of the disease in his left orbit region.
Adrian was able to start school even with very minimal education prior to this. He was able to attend a couple of hours per week, a few days a month with restricted activities but this made all the difference to lighten his spirits knowing that he was a big boy now and was able to share this experience with his older sibling Dion.
However in May 2017 once again this families greatest fears came to reality when routine scans showed that once again there was a recurrence.
“Why him?”, “Could I have done something to prevent this?” Depression, anxiety, anger, fear, helplessness, are only some of the emotions that are being felt by this family on this rollercoaster ride called cancer, and yet the challenge still continues..
￼The new normal: Nothings normal
A decision was made by his doctor in June 2017 for Adrian to begin a clinical trial with a drug called DFMO currently available in Australia.
Adrian has a minimum of 2 hospitals visits per week, apart from the treatment he receives and long stays at the hospital when unwell. He receives weekly blood and platelet transfusions to which also causes him to have an anaphylactic reaction. Adrian is blind in one eye from the tumour and has hearing loss as a result of the treatment and will need ongoing support from speech therapy, academic tutoring, occupational therapy and more.
A simple family outing over the weekend involves many meticulous decisions as he has no immune system
It’s been a long 6 years, but Adrian and his family are not ready to give up.
Despite all of this, the parents have dedicated their time and effort towards community fundraising for the Neuroblastoma research of Australian in the hope that one day they will find a cure so that no other child would have to endure what this little boy now calls ‘his everyday normal life’
Adrian’s parents have remained hopeful and strong in the aim that Adrian will one day be healthy and come out stronger than ever!
In the upcoming months Adrian’s family will be making some very hard decisions. Adrian will require many tests, scans and medication for years to come, which places a heavy financial burden on this young family.
The simple things that we take for granted are luxuries for Adrian and his family. Adrian is a funny little man with a beautiful nature, he is brave and courageous with a personality and a smile that lights up any room.
Adrian’s parents find it difficult to ask for help and I would like to give them one less thing to worry about as they once again battle their way through yet another round of treatment.
Please help our precious Adrian and his family by donating to his medical care and to help give him the opportunity to enjoy and make the most of his childhood years.
Your financial support will have a huge impact on their long journey ahead. If you are in the position to do so, I would greatly appreciate any help you are able to give. Even if it is positive well wishes and prayers that you are able to share.
To our Adrian, through your journey you have honestly shown us the true meaning of bravery and courage xxx