“Our son Zach was diagnosed with stage IV medulloblastoma,” words repeated by Greer Dalco many times, yet still unreal to her.
It took almost three months to discover what was wrong with the usually lively preschooler, but Greer and husband Winton know even if they’d been given the diagnosis on day one, it wouldn’t have changed anything. Five-year-old Zach had a fast-growing brain tumour.
Zach, aged 5.
For two and a half years, the young parents took inspiration from their little superhero and fought with him until tragically there were no treatment options left.
"How do you keep going after a child dies? You don’t,” said Greer. “At the end of the day our family will never be the way it was supposed to be. But we have two little girls and we have to carry on and do the right thing by them.”
Zach and mum Greer share a tender moment
“I would love for there to be a day when a child with cancer could just have surgery and a tablet and then be good to go. No relapse, just a cure.”
“It’s time we put children first and focused funding on childhood cancers,” said Greer.
Read more of Greer Dalco’s story here
Read Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza's plea Let's shut this charity down
Worth fighting for
Life for the Weir family changed forever when their two-year-old daughter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Evie Grace endured every possible treatment available over four years only to relapse every time until eventually she gained her angel wings.
“The moment Evie was diagnosed we were thrust into a world we knew nothing of,” said Sarah.
“A world where we had to helplessly watch our baby girl fight for her life and get really sick with the treatment’s side effects.”
Evie with her TKCP bear collection
The Weirs found strength and purpose in raising awareness for childhood cancer.
“The more awareness, the more funds, which means more research and hopefully a cure,” said Sarah. “That’s the most important thing any family who has been affected by childhood cancer could ask for.”
“Funding scientific studies means that in the future, fewer kids will have to go through what our Evie, and all the kids we have met, have. It means families won’t be robbed of so much."
Sarah and Evie at a candlelight vigil at Sydney Opera House Sydney Opera House for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Sept 2017
Photo credit: Monde Photography
“These kids, who are so young and can't fight for themselves, need us to stand up and help fight for them.”
Read Sarah Weir’s 8 lessons in childhood cancer.