September 7, 2016

A family fighting childhood cancer with their young son Blake

A family fighting childhood cancer with their young son Blake

Walking the cancer path – the words of Blake’s mother Kylie


I posted a call out on Facebook for nominations for my Frames of Hope project and this amazing family were nominated many times over. This little guy, Blake was diagnosed in May 2016 when he was 10 months old, with a large Rhabdomyosarcoma in his abdomen. For a young family who thought they had a healthy baby, this came as a huge shock. Over the next 12 months Blake is undergoing treatment in Brisbane to reduce the size of the tumour which will enable the doctors to operate and then perform more chemotherapy and radiation.

I contacted Kylie and offered to do a shoot for them. We met up in the Botanical Gardens at Ashmore. It was so great to hang out with them for an hour and hear their story and to see the love they have for Blake.

Here is an insight into the strength and determination this family have had to possess this year.

In Kylie’s words –

“This year I have learnt enough to last a lifetime. I wish it was under different circumstances but things don’t always turn out the way you’ve planned. I’ve cried enough tears to fill an ocean, I’ve lost days of sleep and worried endlessly about Blake, our family and our future.

I’ve learnt about an entire new world of childhood cancer that I openly admit I didn’t really know much about before May. Now I know the different types of cancers, the ins and outs of Blake’s chemo, radiation, blood levels, different viruses, surgeries, medication and I know the hospital like the back of my hand. We have spent over 2 months in hospital this year, away from our lives, pets, jobs, families, friends and routine.

I’ve learnt that Blake is incredibly strong, as is our little family. Blake still astounds me every single day at what he (and we as a family) can overcome. Next year baby boy, that’s your year, I just know it.

I’ve learnt that nothing material really matters. What matters is your health, your family, your true friends, the people who surround and support you and are there for you no matter how much awfulness is going on in your life. Not the ones who put you in the too hard basket and silently creep away from your life. I’ve lost “friends” this year, ones that probably thought it was all too much. However I’ve gained some amazing friends too through this awful process, many of them other oncology mums going through a similar experience to us. Such an awful reason to bond, but we’ve bonded nonetheless.

I’ve learnt to appreciate the little things, and the creature comforts of home. Never again will I take for granted spending a birthday at home, a night in my own bed, a walk in the fresh air, a Mothers Day, a “normal” day doing completely mundane normal things..because until those things are quickly ripped away from you, you just don’t know how lucky you are to have them.

This year I have been absolutely humbled by the kindness of our family, friends, the community and complete strangers. Amazing people who have donated money to us without ever meeting us, people who have held fundraisers for us and the ones who have participated, people who have cooked us meals, given Blake toys, people who support this page and write the most beautiful comments week after week. You have given me such a different perspective on life and have helped me through an incredibly dark 8 months.”

You can follow along with Blake’s journey here on Facebook.

You can support the family here through My Cause.