Little Isla's fight

    Hi my name is Isla Anne Gancs,    On Thursday the 13th of September my mum decided she had enough of not knowing what was happening to me decided to take me into the Emergency Department of Frankston Hospital, mum thought I may of had Hip Dysplasia or possibly an Inner Ear Infection but wanted answers none the less! But after what seemed a lifetime of sitting around I was promptly seen to by the Paediatric Specialist who admitted me for an immediate MRI scan of my brain. That was the moment Mine and my Families lives changed forever I was diagnosed with a life threatening Brain Cancer know as Posterior Fossa Ependymoma. I was transferred the next day to the Monash Children’s Hospital in Clayton where I was booked in to have my 1st surgery on Monday the 17th of September, this was a very big, long and complicated 10+ hour surgery that involved some of Australia’s finest Neurosurgeons in which they were able to remove roughly 70% of the cancer.      This meant I would and will have to under further surgeries and treatments. Shortly after my initial surgery I was booked in for another surgery to have an External Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF for short) drain inserted into my head. From there I spent some time in PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) at the Monash Children’s Hospital and was cleared to head for the Post Op Ward 3a called Forest, unfortunately during my short stay there I developed a nasty chest infection and was shuttled back to PICU. While I was still in PICU it was decided it would be beneficial for my well being to have another surgery my 3rd one to have my External Drain converted to a permanent system that’ll stay in there for the rest of my life.    From there I spent a few more days under close observation and once given the all clear I was transferred back to 3a Forest where I made a bunch of new friends within the amazing Staff, Volunteers and Nurses as to be expected I had a few ups and downs but was generally in a fantastic way and on the mend from my surgeries. One thing that did pop up was that my voice box isn’t working properly at the moment so I have to be fed through a Nasal Gastric Tube. Then came the time for my 4th Surgery this time is was to insert central line more commonly known as a Port this was done to help with my Chemotherapy. So then it was moving day again Monday the 29thof October I had to say bye to all my friends I’d made in 3a Forest (all of which promised they will and have come to check in on me!) I was off to 4a Canopy the Cancer Ward. Tuesday the 30th of October I started my Chemotherapy this lasted 3 days and I will have an 18 day break before my next cycle begins. Which pretty much brings us to now!      Ahead of me I still have another round of Chemotherapy which will begin on or right around the 9th of November, again this will last for 3 days then I will have another 18 day break. (Its called  a 21 day Cycle.) After that Cycle I will have further scans to see if something known as Second Look Surgery is a possibility but due to the way and where the cancer had grown this will most likely not be possible. After this will be my Radiation Therapy something that none of the Specialists and Doctors are happy about me going through at such a young age but unfortunately there really is no other choice will begin now this could either happen at the Peter Maccullum Cancer Center in Parkville Melbourne or I could and hopefully will be accepted for a specialized treatment all the way over in the USA call Proton Therapy. Due to the nature of Radiation and Proton Therapy and how young I am there is a good chance I will end up with long term side effects. Further ahead still if everything goes near perfectly I will be given further Chemotherapy known as maintenance therapy.   Mum and Dad, Kirsty and Josh are coping as best they can same with my brothers Wyatt and Samson albeit they don’t really understand what’s happening to me properly. Mum has being amazing keeping me smiling and happy as best she can, her main focus seems to be on me and my well being in the here and now. While Dad being dad is doing his best to get and understand as much information whether good or bad so he can help mum and himself make the best and most informed decisions about giving me the best chance at surviving this insidious, non-discriminating disease. My amazing brothers what can I say they always put a smile on my face even if dad is quietly yelling at them to behave while here in the hospital.   Thank you for taking the time to read this! Love Isla Anne Gancs #smilesforisla       
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Kirsty Fisher 
Seaford VIC
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