I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia as a child at age 13. I had just started high school and it came completely out of nowhere. I had been more tired than usual, but we just put it down to the adjustment of starting high school. But then things slowly started to get worse… I couldn’t get out of bed and I had developed double vision (later to be discovered was due to something completely unrelated, but my saving grace as it is what finally forced us to investigate what was going on!)
I had a blood test, and by that night I was in hospital. Diagnosed with Leukaemia with a white cell count that was absolutely through the roof – 200 times the normal amount. I started on chemotherapy and then daily injections until finally we landed on a medication that would change my life, prognosis and give me hope for a long and happy life. I was all booked in for a bone marrow transplant – no related donors meant the odds of survival were not as good as we would have liked. And nowhere near good enough for my Dad. He was determined to find another solution – and he did. He found me a brand new medication and a doctor who was willing to give it to me.
The chances of a 13 year old being diagnosed with this type of leukaemia was also extremely low so there was next to no data and certainly no experience of a child in Australia taking the drug. But we made it happen. I avoided the bone marrow transplant by the skin of my teeth and have been on an oral chemotherapy medication ever since.
I want to make an impact in the lives of others who are affected by cancer. I want to share my journey and bring happiness through my products, raise funds and promote joy! Inspirational campaigns for cancer are usually all about Hope and Strength… but I want to make my campaign about pure happiness. The little things on a day to day basis that make getting through it all, and allowing you to remain strong and hopeful, possible.