Meet Jack

In late 2021, during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, what looked like harmless bug bites turned out to be a devastating diagnosis for Jack – leukaemia.

“On his third birthday, we found out what was going on. That night, he got a flare up on his feet and hands – they got really red and swollen,” Jack’s mum Jemma and dad Nick shared. “I had a blister on my toe!” Jack said.

Once he received his diagnosis, Jack underwent a bone marrow transplant, which saw him stay at the RCH for almost three months, and had seven days of infusions every 28 days. In total, he has endured twelve rounds of chemotherapy.

As part of his treatment, Jack’s samples were also collected and stored at the CCC Biobank. These samples became an essential part of ongoing clinical trials and studies, helping to uncover new therapies and diagnostic tools that may benefit not only him but also countless other children facing similar challenges.

Jack is now in remission, and Jemma and Nick are grateful for the crucial role the support system at the RCH played in helping Jack and his family navigate these trying times.

“The nurses were really good. They got to know Jack, and we got to know them. He knew a lot of their first names. Whenever we weren’t there, Jack would hit the buzzer to call the nurses and have a chat with them,” Jemma and Nick shared.

Music therapy and art therapy became one of the best parts of Jack’s hospital experience. Tilly and Lauren, his therapists, helped him find comfort in creativity.

“One of the first visitors he had in the room was music therapy and we hadn’t seen him so animated and happy since we had been there. It was so great seeing him so involved and excited about something,” recalled Jemma.

The kindergarten program also fostered a sense of normalcy during Jack’s hospital stays.

“Jack loved the kinder program. And it was important that he wasn’t missing out on that kinder time. For around eight

months he wasn’t allowed to go to his daycare, so it was good he wasn’t missing out while at the hospital,” Jemma said.

One of Jack’s favourite memories at the hospital is exploring the wards. “I liked leaving my room!” he said.

“Jack really enjoyed running up and down the ward and being able to look out the windows. Once he was out of the IV drip and feeding tube, as he got healthier, he also got crazier and crazier!” Jemma and Nick shared.

Attending appointments is no longer a daunting experience for Jack. “He’s always got questions about whether it’s a blood test day – the finger prick gets him a bit nervous. But he’s pretty brave. He also knows that there’s always someone there handing out something for him! He doesn’t mind going to the hospital – it’s usually a Daddy and Jack adventure day because we go to the park too,” said Nick.

Jack’s family express their heartfelt gratitude to all the amazing individuals who have supported the RCH.

“Thanks to the people who support the hospital – there’s so much there that is donated. We were there around Christmas time, and Jack got asked what he wanted for Christmas and he was in his Rapunzel phase, so they brought him one for Christmas. It was really nice and made it special – it really took our mind off the negative stuff and made it as normal as possible. We were really grateful for that!” Jemma and Nick shared.