Adelaide Tonkin was just five months old when she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects muscle cells.
Her parents, Laura and Nathanael, had taken Adelaide to hospital after she rolled off the couch in March 2018 and bumped her head. It was then that they noticed a swollen cheek. When the swelling didn’t subside, an ultrasound revealed an enlarged lymph node. Subsequent tests led to the diagnosis the Tonkin family had feared.
“I remember sitting on the red chairs outside the double doors to the recovery area of the hospital, waiting to hear the results of Adelaide’s MRI,” says mum Laura. “When the oncologist finally came out, a paediatric surgeon was with him. They told us the scan had shown a mass in the right side of her face and they needed to do a biopsy straight away while Adelaide was still under the anaesthetic.”