BRAVE Blake Gibson is a picture of health but the bubbly Warrnambool youngster hasn’t always been this sprightly.
The three-year-old has struggled most of his short life with early childhood cancer and has been in and out of the Royal Children’s Hospital dozens of times.
Mother Kristie Kelp said Blake has improved immeasurably during the past 12 months but expenses have piled up for the ongoing cost of treatment.
She told The Standard that her son has been pronounced deaf but does not have a hearing aid, making it difficult for him to communicate with other children.
“He looks like any other three-year-old, which is a massive difference to how things used to be,” Ms Kelp said. “We’ve been to hell and back with Blake’s illness but to see him up and about, just being a normal child, has been worth it.
“We don’t have a car, so relying on public transport to go to and from the Royal Children’s has been tough.
“He had a hearing aid, which costs about $2000, but he lost it in the water while fishing a few months back.
“We just can’t cover the costs of replacing it so it’s placed a lot of pressure on us financially.”
Ms Kelp and Simpson woman Chelsea Primmer hope to start a fund-raising drive early in the new year and have turned to social media to assist the cause.
“We thought we’d use Facebook to raise some money for Blake and we’ve already had plenty of comments,” Ms Primmer said.
The Warrnambool mother said she also wants to remove a portacath from Blake’s chest which can cause discomfort.
“It’s fine most of the time but if he’s on the trampoline or running around he gets a pain in the chest,” Ms Kelp said.
“We still have to go back to Melbourne for check-ups, so we’re not out of the woods yet.
“The doctors can’t give him the all-clear but we live in hope,” she said.