Adrienne took her three-year-old daughter Georgia to the doctor after noticing she was extremely pale and had consistent high fevers.
“I had to take her to the emergency room that evening,” Adrienne explains. “Within an hour the diagnosis came back – she had leukaemia.”
That first night in the hospital, seeing Georgia hooked up to machines, was really confronting.
I could not believe that my child had cancer, this was not meant to be our story. We were totally overwhelmed with information and what needed to be done to help her survive.
We lived five minutes from the hospital and had friends and family to provide support and we were grateful for that. I saw a lot of regional people in the ward and they were on another level of stress. Some of them had to give up their jobs, or live apart from their families.
Georgia received the ‘standard’ treatment for the type of Leukaemia she had and after eight months of treatment things seemed to be going to plan. However, not long after Adrienne noticed an issue with Georgia’s right eye.
“After tests, the medical team came back to us with the news that she had relapsed. We knew we were in serious trouble then,” says Adrienne. “The words are so strong – ‘cancer’, ‘leukaemia’. Nobody understands unless you’re in it, or have been through it.”
Georgia’s case was classified as “high risk” and her treatment needed to be more aggressive. Adrienne describes the next round of treatment and the time spent in hospital as “beyond a nightmare.”
National cancer charity Redkite was there to offer support.
“My first connection with Redkite was the Red Bag. It’s perfect,” explains Adrienne. We also had some assistance with groceries and petrol too, which was great and very much appreciated.”
After a long and arduous time Georgia was released from hospital following a bone marrow transplant.
“Going home without our ‘pit crew’ was scary,” Adrienne explains. “There were no doctors, nurses, social workers nor music therapists to help us out, and we couldn’t socialise at all because of the risk of infection.”
Thankfully Georgia is now in Year 1 at school and enjoying it.
“She’s so much stronger in body and mind, has made lots of friends, and even got up in front of the class to tell her story”, says Adrienne proudly. “She’s happy, strong, cheeky, and spirited.”
Redkite is an Australian charity supporting the emotional, financial and educational needs of children and young people with cancer aged up to 24 years and their families. To learn more visit here.