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.
Slater was diagnosed with brain cancer known as ependymoma when he was just 17-months-old. Cancer grows in the passageways where the fluid protecting his brain flows, making it difficult to treat without affecting his brain function. Now six-years-old, Slater is a veteran of major surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Sadly, there are parts of Slater’s tumour that remain inoperable.
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 17-years-old 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.
At four-months-old, Isaac’s parents noticed he had shaky eyes. At his four-month check-up, doctors raised their concern about his eyes and the rapid growth of his head. After many tests and scans, Isaac was diagnosed with brain cancer, and a large tumour at the centre of his brain was causing hydrocephalus, which causes swelling in the brain. Isaac’s tumour is inoperable, but he had chemotherapy to shrink the tumour and it is stable, but this could change at any time.
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.
Four-year-old Ava has been living with a brain tumour since late 2018 – a tumour that keeps growing back after surgery and treatment including radiation and chemotherapy, and is now inoperable, tragically making her brain cancer terminal. Surgeons worked relentlessly for seven hours and were unable to remove any of the tumour as it was too dangerous. Ava’s tumour is now monitored for growth, but her parents are facing the very unsure reality of her future.
During a routine GP appointment in 2019, young 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 was 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.
Two-year-old Ingrid was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2020 after she had an unexpected seizure. After undergoing numerous tests, a CT scan finally showed a large mass on her brain – a brain tumour. Ingrid underwent an operation in December which was successful in removing a small amount of the tumour and underwent three more months of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is no longer shrinking her tumour, and her family now await more results and the next steps in her treatment.