For mother Kelly Green, it all started when she noticed her four-year-old son Chase’s stomach was a little bloated.
Putting it down to family members giving Chase some extra treats, Kelly didn’t think twice, but over a few weeks when it hadn’t gone down, she asked the doctor to check his stomach. Both mother and son were unprepared for the news that followed.
On 9 March 2018, Chase was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumour, a rare cancer affecting one or both kidneys. It was a devastating piece of news for the whole family including father, Russell and sister Kyndra, aged nine. Chase was too little to understand the complexities of his diagnosis but cuddled his mum -- who he could see was upset -- and said ‘Don’t worry Mum, I’m not going anywhere’.
“Being told that your child has cancer is absolutely heartbreaking. You feel a range of emotions; from sadness to fear. It’s a fear of the unknown, then anger takes over, how could this happen to a child, to our child and eventually you come to a stage of acceptance and come together as a family to be the best possible support for Chase,” said Kelly.
Over the next year, Chase has endured surgery to remove his left kidney, 16 cycles of chemotherapy and 25 blood transfusions in the Cancer Centre for Children at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Chase has been through things that no child should experience but it is what needed to be done to save his life. Behind the beautiful, cheeky smile that most see, there are many moments of tears, pain and pure fear. Cancer does not discriminate on age and the effects on the person diagnosed and everyone around them is nothing short of heartbreaking.
“From the moment I walked in, the care has been flawless. From our oncology team, the surgeon and nurses – everyone has been there for us. The Cancer Centre for Children has become our home away from home and has made the worst time in our lives that bit better”.
In a family show of support for the organisation that helped them through dark times, they will tackle the Bob ‘Tug’ Wilson’s Walk for Kids with Cancer on Sunday 24 March 2019 to help raise funds for the Cancer Centre for Children. Chase and his sister Kyndra will opt for the new 1km family-friendly walk along the Manly Corso. In honour of everything their son and every other child has to endure, both mum Kelly and dad Russell are completing the 27km walk, all under the banner of ‘Team Chase’ to encourage family members and friends to help support their fundraising goal.
The Walk was originally started by the late Bob ‘Tug’ Wilson who suffered from terminal cancer and wanted to just do something for the ‘young ones’. Now in its 11th year, the challenging 27km trek from Circular Quay to Manly is Bob’s legacy.
Striving to keep positive during difficult times, the family live by the motto ‘Dont take the simple things in life for granted because one day, all of those things will be what you crave for the most. Appreciate each day because you never know what is around the corner’.