What would you do if a child in your life was diagnosed with cancer? When mum Janine heard the devastating news that her 11-year-old son Mitchell had brain cancer, she had one overwhelming response: “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to save my child.”
There’s no two ways about it—childhood cancer is brutal. Mitchell’s cancer brought suffering that no child—and no family—should have to endure, but sadly too many still do.
Janine says one of the most difficult times the family was faced with was when Mitchell was going into surgery—a delicate five-and-a-half-hour operation to remove the brain cancer, and the outcome was terrifyingly uncertain.
When Mitchell asked, “What’s going to happen, mum?” Janine said, “Well, there’s something inside your head that doesn’t belong there, and we’re going to get it out. You’re going to have a sleep and you may not wake up. You may go to heaven and you’ll be there with granddad.”
Now, Mitchell is 17, and although he will never be in remission, his current status is No Evidence of Disease (NED) and his family hopes it will stay that way for the future.
Cancer took years off his childhood and stole many of his dreams for the future. For Mitchell, cancer changed everything, even Christmas, because, while most kids dream of surprises, special gifts and tasty treats, Mitchell has just one dream for Christmas: a cure for brain cancer.
Over the years, research has been responsible for incredible leaps forward and it is no exaggeration to say that research saved Mitchell’s life. During his treatment, Mitchell was part of a clinical research trial focusing on improving treatments and outcomes for children diagnosed with brain cancer.
“For families, research is hope. Research means options,” Janine says.
“When scientists find new options for treatment, that means options for families. It’s so important because you never want to hear ‘Sorry, we’ve exhausted all the options.’ That’s when you’d lose hope.”
Mitchell and his family’s story of hope and resilience truly demonstrates not only how childhood cancer shatters lives, but also how research can save them.
“I’m looking to the future. That’s how I get through. But lots of my friends didn’t make it,” Mitchell says.
“They didn’t get to get a driver’s license. They didn’t get to turn 16 or 18. Some people haven’t even had one year of life, and they die.
“So I wanted to say, between life and death, every donation means more research and more help for people in need—every dollar, every five cents, counts.”
This Christmas, you can help fund innovative research that can help take away the pain and fear that cancer brings—and give children back their dreams.
This Christmas, support research that will make children like Mitchell’s dreams come true.
End the fear and uncertainty of cancer with your donation today.