Our Support Line is open every weekday from 9am-7pm (AEST). Call us on 1800 592 410 or contact us
Your browser is not supported by this website, please consider browsing the site in a modern browser.

Real Stories

Dare to Dream Scholarship Finalist: Max’s story

Max, a 16-year-old cancer survivor from Glenelg North, Adelaide, shares his inspiring journey from a childhood cancer diagnosis to becoming a finalist for the prestigious Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship.

16-year-old Max from Glenelg North, Adelaide has been named one of the eight finalists for the Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship.

The Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship was established 10 years ago, to inspire young people whose physical or mental health has been affected by cancer, to achieve their goals and ambitions. This scholarship, funded by Coles, helps young people build their future and can be put towards education or life goals.

In June 2021, highly engaged in his learning at school, Max was enjoying life when his life came to a standstill. After experiencing swelling in his left wrist, his mum Niamh took him for x-rays. He was told initially he had a broken wrist and shortly after, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of aggressive bone cancer.

Max’s treatment was gruelling and exhausting. It typically involved a combination of chemotherapy and surgery. He had 18 sessions of chemotherapy in total over a period of 10 months in the hospital.

“I endured hair loss, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, changes in appetite, multiple platelet and blood transfusions, mouth sores, diarrhea, constipation, anxiety, fear, nervousness, body image concerns, emotional distress and it all happened during Covid.

Cancer has hit Max’s family hard with his dad being diagnosed in 2017 with stage four kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) and then his own bone cancer diagnosis following that.

While Max was in treatment, a social worker helped set up Redkite services and Niamh was able to access financial assistance.

“Redkite’s support was fantastic because there were times when we were paying a lot for car parking and petrol.”

“Food was another thing that we struggled with because it was difficult to try and make proper homemade meals due to being at the hospital so much. I was only working three days a week. My husband wasn’t working due to his cancer diagnosis, so we were very grateful for any financial support that was available.”

Niamh is grateful to for the Dare to Dream Scholarship and for what it has meant to Max.

“The Dare to Dream Scholarship is great. We’ve read other stories and there are some amazing kids out there. Having this opportunity of being able to apply for something that makes a positive difference to them, gives them a boost right when they need it.”

Max is currently in remission and this year, was nominated by his peers for a Positive Education award at his school, Sacred Heart College, due to his resilience and the curiosity he displays towards his learning. Max has a profound impact on those around him and inspires others through his passion and drive to achieve his goals. “I have requested work experience in the hospital that I had my operations in, in the areas of pathology, radiography and cancer research. This would be amazing to do.”

“I just had x-rays and scans and I am still clear of cancer thankfully. I feel well, but anxious at times if there is something wrong with my body and in the lead up to scans. Currently, I do not have a lot of rotation or strength in my left wrist, but at least I’ve got my hand because 20 years ago the treatment for osteosarcoma was amputation. Ultimately, I am very grateful for research and the advancements in medical science.”

Since 2013, Redkite and Coles have awarded 336 Dare to Dream Scholarships worth over $700,000 to support young Australians whose aspirations and goals have been impacted by their cancer diagnosis. 

Learn more about the Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship

Learn more

Share this story

Would you like to share your story? Redkite celebrates the diversity of personal experiences and stories. The stories shared on our website include opinions that may not necessarily represent Redkite’s views.

On treatment

Roman: Granny Sharon and Pa Phil

How are grandparents affected when their grandchild is diagnosed with cancer? While each story is different, Granny Sharon and Pa Phil share their story about their grandson Roman’s cancer experience.

Roman: Granny Sharon and Pa Phil

How are grandparents affected when their grandchild is diagnosed with cancer? While each story is different, Granny Sharon and Pa Phil share their story about their grandson Roman’s cancer experience.

On treatment

Dare to Dream Scholarship Finalist: Tahlia’s story 

Discover Tahlia’s inspiring journey, from a 16-year-old facing atypical carcinoid lung cancer to becoming one of the eight finalists for the Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship. Learn how this scholarship is helping her pursue his dream of becoming a doctor, and the crucial role family support and Redkite’s resources played in Tahlia’s recovery journey.  

Dare to Dream Scholarship Finalist: Tahlia’s story 

Discover Tahlia’s inspiring journey, from a 16-year-old facing atypical carcinoid lung cancer to becoming one of the eight finalists for the Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship. Learn how this scholarship is helping her pursue his dream of becoming a doctor, and the crucial role family support and Redkite’s resources played in Tahlia’s recovery journey.