In celebration on what should have been his initiation into adulthood, a family unites to fund ground-breaking research for a cure. Rochelle shares her story here.
In August of 2011, in a matter of just weeks, what began as tiredness and a tummy ache quickly turned in to any parent’s worst nightmare when our nine-year-old son Mitchell was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer. And in that moment, as many families affected by the disease will agree, our entire lives were changed as we began our journey.
What followed was four years of intense treatment including chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplants and more.
We had no choice but to watch on and support Mitchell as he faced challenges that no child should ever have to endure.
The treatments made him sick, in pain and often miserable but he still smiled cracked jokes and made the most of every awful situation.
He was kind, funny, resilient, incredibly brave and had a laugh that was infectious.
With each new treatment came new hope that maybe this would be the one that would finally put an end to his pain but too often that hope was stripped away.
In 2015, following Mitchell’s third relapse, we received the painful news that there were minimal options left to treat his cancer. That’s when we witnessed first-hand the amazing work of The Kids’ Cancer Project. They offered our family hope through a trial treatment and provided access to everything we needed.
Unfortunately, these treatments were no match for Mitchell’s rapidly developing condition but they did give us more time to cherish with him and provided valuable information, which will be utilised for future treatments.
Read more: Cage fighting with neuroblastoma
The work of The Kids’ Cancer Project granted us a few more months of laughs, smiles and memories to cherish. Later that year our family was left heartbroken when Mitchell, just 13-years-old, lost his battle with neuroblastoma.
In just a few days, on 8 February 2020, he would have turned 18.
We should be planning a grand birthday party and preparing to celebrate his debut into adulthood.
He should be here with us, a new adult preparing to forge his way in the world.
However, for us and so many other families, that just is not the case. With this date fast approaching, we wanted to find a way to honour Mitchell.
We would love for no family to lose a child to cancer and so to honour Mitchell we need your help to find a cure.
We have set up this fundraising page to raise money for The Kids’ Cancer Project so they can help kids like Mitchell, and families like ours on their childhood cancer journey. Their amazing and ground-breaking research is leading to effective new treatments with one hundred percent of all money invested back into research and ongoing trial treatment programs.
Our goal is $1,800 - $100 for each year since Mitchell was born. Please donate whatever you can by using the “Give Now” button. Help us honour our beautiful Mitchell on what should be his eighteenth birthday and get one-step closer to wiping out childhood cancer forever.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and helping our family honour Mitchell #forever13.