You helped give Macy the best treatment closer to home

You helped give Macy the best treatment closer to home

Macy (far left) used to have to regularly travel from melbourne to hobart with her mum suzannah for treatment. Having treatment in hobart means macy’s sister matilda (far right) gets more time with family too.

Now 14-years-old, Macy has been undergoing treatment for over a decade for her rare form of cancer. For a long time, her condition meant regular, often week-long, trips from her home in Hobart to Melbourne just for treatment. That was until gifts from people like you helped give her and other kids in Tasmania access to lifesaving treatments in their home state.

In 2012, at just three-years-old, Macy was diagnosed with a slow-growing brain tumour  known as optic pathway glioma. After initial surgeries to reduce the size of her tumours, doctors considered the risk to Macy’s mobility and vision too high to continue surgery, instead  turning to prolonged chemotherapy as the only option. Macy’s mum, Suzannah says:

“When she was diagnosed, the doctors told me it was going to be a long road. I thought I understood, but I had no idea how long.”

For Suzannah, Macy and their entire family, the situation was made worse by the fact that the new drug Macy would rely on to remain stable  over the next decade wasn’t available at their  home in Hobart – or anywhere in Tasmania. Their  new normal quickly became at least monthly trips to Melbourne for her lifesaving treatment.

“We were travelling interstate monthly, but often we’d do two or three trips in a month. Sometimes it was for two or three nights, but it was also up to a week at a time.

“The tumours kept increasing in size, so we had no choice. Getting on and off planes is exhausting at the best of times, but with a sick child it’s just  horrible. Plus, every time we left, I felt guilty about leaving my other daughter Matilda behind with  friends and family. It was awful.”

After enduring lengthy and expensive interstate trips for five years, everything changed for Macy and her family thanks to donations from generous people like you. In 2017, having recognised the need for access to better childhood cancer treatments in Tasmania, The Kids’ Cancer Project funded the pening of a brand  new Children’s and Adolescent Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital. 

The new unit gave Macy access to the very drug she needed to keep her cancer manageable allowing her to continue with school and lead a relatively normal life. Suzannah says:

“She’s still on the same treatment that she was on in Victoria, it just wasn’t offered here from our hospital at the time. It’s life-changing for us as a family from Tasmania, we now don’t have to pick up and leave our home life every few weeks.

"Just being able to be in your own home and have normal life around you has made such a difference. It’s provided stability for both Macy and Matilda, and she doesn’t have to miss out on so much school.”

Macy Image
Macy used to have to regularly travel from melbourne to hobart with her mum suzannah for treatment

As for Macy’s cancer, its slow-growing nature means she’s able to live a relatively normal life, with her treatment keeping everything in check. Suzannah continues to say:

“There’s no end date for her treatment at this stage, we just take it day by day. But now that we are stable at home and we’re not picking up and flying back and forth that it doesn’t seem as amplified as when we were having to do all that travel.

“We’re so grateful and thankful every single day for anybody that donates towards research and clinical trials. It’s vital. It’s everything. We would be in a real pickle if that funding wasn’t there for her treatment. I wish that more people realised the effect of their donations on real families like mine. It’s simply amazing.”

Because of gifts like yours, the unit has now been in operation for six years, giving Macy and other Tasmanian kids access to new, cutting-edge cancer drugs that they could expect to receive anywhere else in the world. Thank you.

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