This is branded content for the Leila Rose Foundation.
Imagine, after the joy of bringing a baby into the world, your family's absolute devastation when you learn this innocent child is suffering from a rare cancer.
The Leila Rose Foundation offers real time practical expert cancer support and guidance to families when faced with the painful reality. This is especially true when little is known about the rare cancer affecting their child and there is possibly no known cure available.
Leila Rose Foundation founders Tracy and Dr Andrew Chow's daughter Leila Rose was 10 months old when she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer in 2009.
"Her cancer was so rare that the hospital had only seen two other cases," Tracy Chow said.
"Our fight for her life showed us the pain and frustration experienced by families when their kids are diagnosed with rare childhood cancers."
Each year over 300 children with their families suffer the shock of a rare cancer diagnosis, but the Foundation can only assist 50 of these cases due to the lack of funding.
This is why, after over 10 years assisting families who are dealing with a rare childhood cancer, the Foundation is running its first public appeal to be able to support families into the future.
"We urgently seek business and corporate sponsors who can 'adopt' a number of worthy families per year, and be publicly recognised, and other community members who are able to help at the various donor levels shown on our website," CEO Andy Chappell said.
With this aim in mind, Andy is available for a chat anytime on 0407996763.
The real life impact a donor can have for a family in crisis is enormous as shown in Harper's story.
Baby Harper's family were helped by the Leila Rose Foundation when they needed it most. Her mother Julia tells how much this support meant to them during this difficult time.
In August 2021 our whole lives were turned upside down when our sixteen month old daughter Harper had a minor fall.
After several uncertain diagnosis', multiple blood transfusions, eight scans, internal bleeding for several days and transfers to three different hospitals by helicopter, the doctors discovered a 7x7x8cm tumour.
After removing the tumour life was returning to normal until we were told that our baby girl had an incredibly rare malignant cancer.
After consulting international experts in this type of tumour, we were advised that Harper must undergo chemotherapy and as such we had three days to relocate our lives from Coffs Harbour to Newcastle (four hours away).
This entailed saying goodbye to our six year old son and three year old daughter who, due to Covid restrictions, weren't allowed to be with us and had to stay with their grandparents.
For the four months that followed our Harpie went through four intensive rounds of chemo, multiple surgeries to insert and remove central lines, lost all her hair, had so many scans that we couldn't even count, painful dressing changes and more needles than any baby should need to endure.
Our lives became all about survival, living each day and getting through every obstacle as it came up.
We are so so grateful for Leila Rose and the huge assistance they offered with helping us pay our bills during a time that is every parent's worst nightmare and work is just not possible .
This assistance meant so much to us - it meant we could afford to still have our home to go back to at the end of treatment to celebrate Christmas as a family.
It meant we didn't need to worry about phone bills and electricity bills. And it meant one less stress for us during the most stressful time of our lives.
Our baby girl is now two and is doing so beautifully. She is in remission and her hair has grown back into thick beautiful curls and she is just thriving - Julia.
"We really appeal to the kind people of Warrnambool and South West Victoria to support this local children's cancer charity, born and managed in Warrnambool and assisting families in crisis wherever needed," CEO Andy said.
If you would like to get involved visit the Leila Rose foundation website or give Andy Chappell a call on 0407996763.