Child: William Smith
Age: 7 years old
Treated at: Westmead Children’s Hospital
In late January, this year, William had become lethargic and had slight pains in his belly. At first the pain was not consistent and there was no vomiting, temperature or visible signs of it being anything of any major concern. However, after a week the pain and lethargy had increased and so his mother Danielle took him to the family GP where he was referred for tests.
The next day William had an X-ray which showed something on the right lung, which was believed could have been pneumonia, but an ultra sound showed many more lumps in William’s abdomen -leading to the devastating realisation that something was dreadfully wrong.
The following day William was admitted to Westmead Children's Hospital, where tumours were found throughout his body, except for his head. Doctors had diagnosed him with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma and he immediately commenced treatment, which included five rounds of chemotherapy, in an effort to shrink the tumours.
After the last round of chemotherapy, William then underwent a nine-and-a-half-hour long surgery, to remove two sections of his liver with tumours. Only 24 hours before this, his parents were also given news that the primary tumour had stretched across to the lining of his heart.
Following the surgery, he has had another round of chemotherapy and two bone marrow transplants and is now in hospital recovering before future treatments of radiation and immunotherapy.
William’s cousin, nine-year-old Matilda, had no hesitation in deciding to have her lovely golden locks shaved off from the moment she found out chemotherapy would cause him to lose his hair. The two are not only cousins, but great friends and Matilda wanted to show her support and help raise money for his care and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Neuroblastoma is the leading cause of death in children under 5 from cancer. The annual Run2Cure event being held in Sydney on the 4th of June 2017 aims to raise awareness of, and funds for, neuroblastoma childhood cancer research. The event has now raised over $430 000 for Children’s Cancer Institute and Cancer Council NSW for designated neuroblastoma research projects. In 2017 the aim is to raise $150 000 to support the research further.
Get involved in the Run2Cure event today to help raise money and find a cure for this devastating cancer.
For more information and to get involved, Click Here.