Debie and Matthew fondly remember taking their three children to soccer each Saturday. It was at one of these games that they noticed their eight year-old son, Kurtis, wasn’t well.
“We took him to hospital. It all happened in a
matter of hours.”
“We were told to kiss him goodbye before he was wheeled off to surgery. We didn’t expect him to survive."
When scans revealed Kurtis had a massive tumour at the base of his brain, doctors let them know that Kurtis had a five per cent chance of survival. “We were told to kiss him goodbye before he was wheeled off to surgery. We didn’t expect him to survive,” they said.
Kurtis survived surgery and underwent a further operation, radiation and chemotherapy. “I don’t think Kurtis ate solid food from the day he came out of surgery, right through 180 days. He couldn’t walk. We basically went through the process of teaching him how to walk and eat again,” says Matthew.
Matthew and Debie were supported by a Redkite Social Worker in hospital. “She was just amazing. She helped put things in perspective and she was there for the duration. It was just nice to know that you had someone by your side on your darkest days.”
“I don’t think anyone could say enough about how much Redkite impacts and what their work does, it’s so important.”
Redkite was also able to assist financially, “They helped with things that in everyday life you wouldn’t consider to be a hurdle but when you’re going through a journey like that, they are. It’s one less thing that you have to worry about so you can concentrate on your child.”
Matthew reflects: “I don’t think anyone could say enough about how much Redkite impacts and what their work does, it’s so important.”
“I don’t know how we would’ve gotten through without Redkite. If you are able to help them provide their services, it means the world to families.”
Kurtis now lives with the good and bad impacts of cancer. Debie and Matthew are proud of his achievements. When writing an essay about being a survivor, Kurtis wrote: “I’m very proud to be a cancer survivor. It’s made me wiser, stronger and more determined to succeed in life, no matter how hard things get for me. Some of my friends didn’t make it so I should make my life count.”
“Kurtis is my inspiration. I get inspired by him every day," says Matthew.
– March 2013
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