The children inspiring the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre
The incredible families and children affected by brain cancer share their stories of heartbreak, anguish, love, and determination.
Above all else, is a united sense of hope that the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre can improve outcomes for any child battling against the odds.
Isaac was just four months old when his parents noticed he had shaky eyes. At his routine check-up, doctors raised their concern about his eyes and the rapid growth of his head. Following further tests and scans, his parents were given the devastating news that Isaac had brain cancer. The large tumour at the centre of his brain was causing hydrocephalus – a build-up of fluid in the brain causing his head to swell.
Sadly, Isaac’s tumour is inoperable, but chemotherapy successfully shrank the tumour and it is currently stable, however this could change at any time.
Ava was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2018 when she was just two years old. She had a major operation soon after her diagnosis, and the surgeons were able to remove most of her tumour – but not all of it. Ava had chemotherapy and radiation, but devastatingly following a second surgery, that took over seven hours, Ava’s tumour was deemed inoperable, and the family were informed further treatment was about ensuring quality of life.
Ava never stopped defying the odds. Despite the gruelling treatment, she always remained a beacon of happiness and brought love and joy to everyone she met. Sadly, in October 2022, despite a brave and inspiring battle Ava passed away at just six years old.
Soccer mad Lachlan was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2019, aged six. His first tumour was discovered in the back of his head, but an MRI revealed further tumours in his brain and spine. Lachlan had multiple surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy completing treatment in March 2020.
Lachlan was stable for a couple of months, but in June the family were given the devastating news the cancer had relapsed and there were no more treatment options available. Following nine months of making memories with his family and friends, Lachlan sadly passed away in March 2021.
During a routine GP appointment in 2019, Zaira’s doctor thought the way she was walking didn’t seem quite right and sent her for an X-ray of her hips. A later MRI revealed that at the age of 11, she had medulloblastoma – the most common type of cancerous brain tumour in children.
Zaira has undergone surgery, to remove the tumour, chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation, and is now nearing the end of her treatment.
Slater was diagnosed with brain cancer known as ependymoma when he was just 17 months old. This cancer grows in the passageways where the fluid protecting the brain flows, making it difficult to treat without affecting brain function.
Slater was a veteran of major surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy but sadly following a courageous battle he lost his fight with brain cancer in August 2021 aged just six years old.
Cooper was eight years old when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. The tumour was positioned deep in the centre of his brain. Because of the size of the tumour, none of his spinal fluid could drain away, causing pressure on his brain and massive headaches. To treat the tumour, Cooper underwent chemotherapy and radiation.
Cooper is now 15-years-old and his tumour is stable, but he undergoes scans every six months to ensure the cancer hasn’t grown back.
In 2019, when Jack was just eight years old, he started to experience extreme headaches and a CT scan revealed a mass on his brain. Jack was subsequently diagnosed with glioblastoma – a very aggressive form of brain cancer. 80 per cent of his tumour was removed during surgery, however the remaining 20 per cent was wrapped around his brain stem. Jack underwent further treatment including more surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation; however, the family received the devastating news that Jack would not survive his prognosis.
Jack remained positive and determined not to let his cancer define him, finding a love for science, AFL and Lego. Sadly, Jack passed away in April 2022.
Max was diagnosed with multiple brain tumours in his ventricle system in August 2014, when he was only 10 years old. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, several major surgeries, the installation of a shunt, and a dual craniotomy. As a result of his surgeries, Max lost 50 percent of his vision.
Max is now 19 and is still living with five tumours in his brain. He regularly attends clinics at Queensland Children’s Hospital to ensure the cancer is not growing.