Mitchell Blasts Neuroblastoma

On 17th January 2020 at 0930hrs the world stood still for my dear friends Erin and Jeremy Ray. Their eldest son Mitchell, had been unwell for the previous three weeks, doctors had prescribed anti-nausea medication and pain relief but Erin and Jeremy were worried that he wasn’t improving and insisted on an abdominal ultrasound. The ultrasound identified a large tumour in Mitchell’s stomach. We now know the diagnosis is Stage 4 Neuroblastoma with metastases in the lung, lymph node and bone.

Mitchell is 6 years old.

Jeremy and Mitchell were flown to Westmead Children’s Hospital (CHW) and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit the same day. Erin couldn’t go, Hannah (2.5 years) was unwell and on antibiotics and Erin was 4 days away from a scheduled C-Section and the arrival of baby number three. Erin and Jeremy’s amazing families rushed to be by their sides.

Mitchell underwent tests and was unstable with one of his lungs completely filled with fluid, while Erin made plans to pack up their lives and relocate to Sydney as soon as she was able to travel.

A happy and healthy Connor arrived on Tuesday 21st January 2020 the same day Mitchell commenced Chemotherapy treatment. Jeremy and Mitchell met Connor on 28th January 2020. Erin a health professional and budding photographer, captured her first photo of her three babies shortly after their reunion.

The Ray family have been settling into their new life at Ronald McDonald House (RMH), Mitchell has been bravely soldiering through his treatment protocol of chemotherapy, stem cell injections and stem cell harvest. Jeremy has not left Mitchell’s side since that flight to Sydney. The family have been told to anticipate at least 12-18 month stay in Sydney with further chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and immunotherapy planned.

Mitchell has had a couple of attempts at gate leave, each lasting less than 30 hours before re-admission due to deterioration in his health. On 21st February at one month old baby Connor became unwell and was admitted to ICU at CHW. The same hospital as his big brother. Imagine that, Jeremy and Mitchell ‘sleeping’ in one ward while Erin and Connor were in the other (Hannah was safely in her grandparents care).

Connor has now undergone surgery for severe larynogmalacia. He is dependent on a CPAP machine for breathing, trying periods of time off it while awake but may need to continue CPAP when he leaves hospital. He is having difficulty feeding and has not been safe to try bottles yet. He remains in an ICU related unit.

This story is insane right, how can so much happen to one family? We think so too. It’s not the full story though, this family, we’ve seen their resilience shine before, just three years ago when Erin received (and successfully fought) a breast cancer diagnosis.

Erin and Jeremy are fighters, they’re in this for the long haul. Their resilience, positivity and determination has not surprised any of their support team. We knew they had it in them.

After much negotiation, we’ve managed to convince Erin and Jeremy to establish a Facebook page (check out ‘Mitchell Blasts Neuroblastoma’ - paying homage to Mitchell’s fight and his love of Minecraft) and to allow us to establish this fundraising page.

Erin and Jeremy have grand plans for supporting the services that have supported them, but in the meantime, they really need our financial support. Understandably both Jeremy and Erin have been unable to work, and the family have a mortgage as well as a collection of bills and things they need to purchase (e.g. nappies, special formula for Connor) and a wish list of things they would love to buy, if they could, like fuel costs for their amazing parents who are travelling (often daily) to be by their sides.

Give a little, or a lot, and message the ‘Mitchell Blasts Neuroblastoma’ page if you would like to help in other ways x
  • Bill & Enid Stroud 
    • $200 
    • 10 mos
  • Susan Marowske 
    • $300 
    • 10 mos
  • Emma O’Brien 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Amy Kasparian  
    • $200 
    • 10 mos
  • Sarah Tilbrook 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Ray Family Fundraising Team (5)

Trudy Charnley 
Dubbo NSW
Erin Ray 
Christie Gunther 
Team member
Natalie Marchant 
Team member
Patrick Mcdonnell 
Team member
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