It's been almost 12 months since Stacey and Scott learned that their oldest son, Aaron, has leukaemia.
"Numb, just numb" are the only words Stacey can muster to describe the horror of the day she and her husband, Scott, heard their GP utter those unthinkable words.
"It didn't make sense. The day before, Aaron had won man-of-the-match at soccer. He'd gone to school that morning. Everything was just so... normal."
But it was anything but normal. Within an hour of visiting their trusted family doctor, nine-year-old Aaron was being rushed to Brisbane for urgent treatment for a rare type of leukaemia.
Aaron and his family were suddenly thrown into a world of hospital emergency rooms and paediatric oncology wards... and incredibly painful lumbar punctures. Aaron has fought the fight of his life. And, he has recently turned a corner. Two weeks before Easter, Aaron and Stacey finally came home.
His battle isn't over yet - but try telling this feisty now-10-year-old that he can't conquer the world! Within days of going home, despite being in hospital or hospital accommodation for almost 12 months, Aaron was back at school. Today, he's managing three days a week in the classroom. It will take time. And he'll still be fighting leukaemia for many years to come.
Aaron will be on oral chemo for the next 3 1/2 years, and there will be regular lumbar punctures, blood tests and more... but he's proved that he's a fighter.
In recognition of Aaron's battle, and his amazing courage, we have launched an appeal to support life saving cancer research projects , such as our Tumour Bank.
This state-of-the-art research repository, one of only two paediatric tumour banks in Australia, was recently established through the generosity of supporters of the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation.
Resources like our children's cancer research tumour bank greatly speed up research. Without them, scientists can waste many years accumulating enough samples for meaningful research. These banks - available to scientists throughout the world - enable researchers to investigate questions about cancer that would otherwise be difficult or impossible... and they give children like Aaron a greater chance of beating leukaemia and other childhood cancers.
Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference: by supporting childhood cancer research, and by working wonders in so many other ways for sick kids. And don't forget to donate before 30 June so you can claim your generosity on your upcoming tax return.
PS: If you can spare a moment, please leave a message of encouragement for Aaron on this website. He'd be thrilled to know that you have supported the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation in his honour!