In August 2022, Nathanael and Elodie’s lives were shaken when their two-year old Diana suddenly stopped eating and developed a fever that lasted two weeks.
After consulting numerous pediatricians and spending two days in intensive care at home in New Caledonia, Diana’s parents received the devastating news; their child has cancer. It was leukaemia. Their world collapsed as they realised that Diana’s treatment would take place at the Children’s Hospital Westmead, NSW. Just three days later, they were on a plane heading to Australia.
Upon arrival, Nathanael and Elodie were informed of Redkite, who support families facing childhood cancer across Australia. This includes families that travel here from New Caledonia for their child’s cancer treatment. Redkite provides a range of services including, providing Red Bag diagnosis pack, grocery and fuel vouchers, mental health support for the whole family, and other essentials.
Nathanael, shares, “When we first arrived here, we didn’t have much. We came on a medical flight and were only able to bring one suitcase. Redkite’s financial assistance gave us the opportunity to purchase what we needed to survive. Elodie adds, “Redkite’s financial assistance was essential for us and provided tremendous relief. It allowed us to buy groceries and ensure we ate properly during our stay. Considering Diana’s health, this was incredibly important for us to remain healthy and strong.”
“Redkite’s financial assistance was essential for us and provided tremendous relief. It allowed us to buy groceries and ensure we ate properly during our stay.”
Redkite organises weekly coffee catch-ups for New Caledonian families to connect with each other, offering crucial emotional support to help counter the isolation they face. Nathanael explains, “If Redkite wasn’t around, I don’t think we would have the opportunity to see other families as frequently. Our focus is on our kids, and these special moments give us a chance to talk about something different, which makes a significant difference.”
A couple of months after their arrival in Australia, Diana and her parents attended the Sydney French Open. A two-day tennis tournament which helps raise vital funds for Redkite’s programs supporting New Caledonian families. They received a warm welcome and have fond memories of the event. Nathanael shares, “Some families had brought their dogs. Diana loves animals, and it was such a wonderful moment that lifted everyone’s spirits. At the time, she wasn’t eating at all, and it was during the Sydney French Open that she started to eat a little. It was a major win for us!”
Diana spent nine months in Australia to complete her treatment. She spent Christmas in the hospital and celebrated her third birthday here too. In May 2023 she returned home having been cleared by the doctors to continue her maintenance treatments back home in New Caledonia.