In memory of Lenny

In memory of Lenny

A loving aunty shares how she's going to lose her locks for her darling Lenny. 

Rebecca is losing her locks for childhood cancer research in memory of her darling nephew Lenny the Lionheart who died at just 16-months old.

Lenny passed away in July 2018 after a 12-month battle with neuroblastoma and veno-occlusvie disease - a liver condition that can be a complication of chemotherapy.

Here Rebecca shares the heartbreaking impact Lenny’s passing had on her and the reason why specialised childhood cancer treatments are so urgently needed.


Discover how you can Lose Your Locks for kids with cancer


 

New-baby bliss 1 Image

New-baby bliss

I got to meet Lenny and his twin sister Isla when they were four-month old babies - such a beautiful age when babies are smiling and talking. I got to have a cuddle with Lenny and his Mum, Lauren, took this photo of us.

Looking at the photo I’m reminded that I was a bit tired as I’d just came from a three-day nursing conference. I was so glad for the chance to travel to Melbourne and stay an extra few days to see the family and meet the twins.

The whole family was excited by the arrival of Lenny and Isla. We'd never had twins in the family before. I was looking forward to watching them grow up. And I was so proud of Lauren - she is a terrific Mum. She took having twins in her stride and was delighted in them.

I remember Lenny being so charismatic – he really was a very social and engaging baby.

He was curious about the world around him and seemed to love meeting new people. It was always like Lenny was telling Isla, "Look sister, the world is a great place!" She only had eyes for him and for her Mum Lauren.

The diagnosis for Lenny came a few months later and then I didn't get to see Lenny again until he was 16 months old. That was the last time I saw him. 

New-baby bliss 3 Image

Ravages of chemotherapy

Seeing what the treatment had done to him was heartbreaking.

Naturally Lauren had shared photos with us, and we’d been hearing all the updates, but the reality of seeing him… it was hard.

We called him Lenny the Lionheart. His beautiful, curious, friendly nature survived most of his treatment which we know is so traumatic for babies and children. But it really broke my heart when my sister told me that after he had spent time in Intensive Care, he didn't smile anymore.

Ravages of chemotherapy 2

Science is the solution

My husband has been through cancer and survived. My mum too. Both are going strong today because they are adults and can manage treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Plus, there has been a significant amount of research that has gone into curing their types of cancers.

A lot of people don’t know that kids are treated with the same drugs as adults. But because every child is different, the right dosages are difficult to determine. We urgently need cancer treatments for children. We need to give kids the same chance of survival as adults.

I’m going to lose my locks in memory of Lenny and will be raising money to fund more scientific research to discover kinder, more effective treatments for our precious kids, so that another family doesn't have to lose their little Lionheart. 

I don't want any other child to lose the fight because our kids’ cancer treatments are inadequate and inappropriate for children.




 

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