Declan Kane’s four-year battle with cancer began in 2013 shortly before his fourth birthday.
The fearless, active boy tragically lost his life to neuroblastoma on 18 May 2017, a disease that accounts for 15 per cent of all paediatric cancer deaths in Australia.
After the shock diagnosis, the Kane family were forced to relocate from their home and support network in Bridgetown to Perth while Declan underwent 18 months of treatment, which included chemotherapy, surgery, a stem-cell transplant and radiation.
“Declan was also part of a trial for immunotherapy,” says dad, Simon. “We got on top of it and there was no evidence of disease for about six months but, just before Christmas 2015, it came back.”
While searching for other treatment options, the Kane’s came across a DFMO clinical trial for children with relapsed high-risk neuroblastoma.
Declan (right) with best mate and little brother Brodie.
With funding from The Kids’ Cancer Project, the study aimed to establish the maximum tolerated dose of the drug DFMO, in combination with other drugs, to the develop more effective treatments.
“The DFMO trial treatment was working,” says Simon. “The cancer was shrinking like it was just about ready to melt away, but then the neuroblastoma found a way back in.”
Without the trial there would have been no further hope. The treatment gave the Kane’s more time. Time they spent advocating and fundraising for all children with cancer.
“We don't think any child should have to go through what Declan did,” says Simon. “We'd love to see better treatment options.&rdquo
“That’s why we continue to support The Kids’ Cancer Project because they’re dedicated towards finding new treatments and research into all childhood cancers.”