Alex is one of the little ambassadors for the 2022 Good Friday Appeal. The three-year-old is going through treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Parents Gabby and Jesse never thought their son Alex would be fighting for his life at just three years old. This changed when Alex was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, last year.
Alex’s parents thought something was wrong when they realised that the cold he and his older brother, Marcus, had caught from childcare was more serious for Alex. While Marcus recovered in a week, Alex’s symptoms developed into a persistent cough, swollen tummy, a limp which prevented him from walking and a very red rash and bruises covering his body.
After noticing the bruises, Alex’s parents took him to the doctor, however, the doctor’s appointment turned into an immediate referral to The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) emergency department.
After numerous tests and a few hours passing, Gabby and Jesse were told Alex had leukaemia and needed to remain in hospital for further tests and treatment.
“Everything about our family’s day-to-day life was turned completely upside down when Alex was diagnosed with cancer. Everything happened so quickly. Alex was diagnosed on a Thursday night and by Saturday, he was in surgery – there wasn’t a lot of time to adjust,” said Gabby.
Luckily for Alex, he’s receiving the best possible care at the RCH led by oncologist Dr Di Hanna and the specialised team at the Children’s Cancer Centre. In June 2021, Alex started his chemotherapy treatment, which will continue for two and a half years from diagnosis.
He has now spent the best part of three months on and off in hospital.
The RCH team have stepped Gabby and Jesse through every procedure, every side-effect and every drug. Play therapists, music and art therapy sessions have been an enormous help in raising Alex’s spirits and helping him engage in treatment. He now loves his nurses – or his ‘nursies’.
Alex is too young to fully understand his condition, but he does know he is sick and needs to take medicine for a long time. His young age has made it easier for him to accept having tubes and lines attached to his body and losing his hair, but he has started to talk about wanting to be ‘normal Alex’ again.
“Alex’s cancer has forced me to realise just how fragile and precious a child’s life can be. I don’t take anything for granted anymore – I treasure every cuddle with the kids and every laugh,” said Gabby.
Gabby and Jesse are hopeful Alex will make a full recovery and are grateful for the excellent care made possible through the support of the Good Friday Appeal.
Thanks to your generous support, we can make a difference to children like Alex and support world-leading care at the RCH.