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Kate, David and Margie's story

When Kate and her husband Steve returned from a

year overseas with their three children, they thoughtDavid in hospital their three-year-old son David’s lack of energy was just him adjusting to the big move.  But when he stopped wanting to walk, Kate took him to their GP. The next day, Kate and Steve were taken into a private room at their local hospital, and quietly told their little boy had leukaemia.



“I can still see it in slow motion,” Kate remembers. “It’s like a bomb goes off in your life and nothing is quite the same again.”


For the first three months, Kate and her husband lived by David's bedside.Kate was forced to immediately wean his six month old brother Matthew. Kate’s mum, Margie then gave up her new job to look after Matthew and his older sister Madeleine full-time, while Kate and Steve stayed at the hospital with David.


"I don't know what we would have done without my Mum. She literally did everything at home for our other children,"says Kate.


In the first week of David’s diagnosis, the family received a Redkite Red Bag. “It meant so much that someone had taken time to think about what we’d need.” Kate remembers. “You notice all the Redkite bags around the ward. Everyone raves about them.”


A year after David’s diagnosis, Kate and Steve were struggling to pay for all the specialist appointments, car fuel and expensive hospital parking.  “After the first 12 months, I could take a step back and I suddenly realised how precarious we had become financially. I can still see our social worker telling us that Redkite offered financial assistance. I couldn’t believe it. That made a huge difference, and it came at exactly the right time,” Kate says.


“David also had to have expensive weekly occupational therapy support. The Redkite education grant that helped pay for it was an absolute godsend. Redkite has kept us going - they still do now.”


David is now eight and finished treatment one and a half years ago. “The further we get away from the treatment, the less under a cloud he is,” Kate says smiling. “For a long time, he was very withdrawn. Now he’s changing into the real David.”


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