Our Support Line is open 9am to 7pm (AEST). Call us on 1800 REDKITE or Contact us
Your browser is not supported by this website, please consider browsing the site in a modern browser.

Real Stories

Vinny, Sally & Michael: When the joy of being new parents abruptly ends

Our time enjoying life as new parents abruptly ended when Vinny was admitted to hospital at two months old.

Michael and I welcomed Vinny into this world in November 2019. As new parents, we were both completely in love with our baby boy, and we felt like everything in life was perfect. I vividly remember looking down at Vinny as a newborn, and being so thankful for our healthy baby boy, and how lucky we were to be holding him in our arms.

Our time enjoying life as new parents abruptly ended when Vinny was admitted to hospital at two months old.

He had a virus and needed close monitoring. We will forever be thankful for this virus as the close monitoring led us to find a tumour, which was the size of a tennis ball, in his chest.

It took over two weeks to receive the diagnosis no parent ever wants to hear: Vinny was diagnosed with stage one neuroblastoma.

We continued to monitor the situation without treatment, but at four months old, his diagnosis had escalated to stage 4S, and we began chemotherapy.

As a family living in the country, we had to move to Adelaide for Vinny’s treatment. This was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were apart from our families. We were a three hour drive from home and Michael had to relocate his newly-started business and was unable to work more than one day a week.

The days on treatment were long, constantly trying to ensure Vinny was okay. We monitored his side-effects and we always tried to distract him from the side-effects that we couldn’t control.

It still feels like a blur to recall the time he was on treatment. It was as if we were in another world full of hospital visits and round the clock medication, and we were a long way from home.

Redkite were there every step of the way; from the Red Bag to get us through hospital stays to financial assistance in the form of vouchers to help us through the three times we needed to move house for Vinny’s treatment.

Vinny endured six months of treatment before we were able to move back home and attempt to regain some normality.

Life has returned to some form of normality, but it will never be the same again.

Vinny continues to live with his tumour. While he is off treatment, and seemingly healthy, we live in fear of relapse.

My advice to any families facing a new diagnosis is just to take every day as it comes. Even on the darkest of days, try and find that glimmer of hope or happiness.

To access any of our services, call, email, or let us know your details and we’ll get in touch with you.

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.

21st Jan

Tara and Melissa

Hear from Tara about the two turning points in her life: when she first found out she had cancer and when it came back.

Tara and Melissa

Hear from Tara about the two turning points in her life: when she first found out she had cancer and when it came back.

Survivorship
5th Jan

Jane and Angus

Redkite helped Jane’s family during her treatment. Now her father’s art has helped others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jane and Angus

Redkite helped Jane’s family during her treatment. Now her father’s art has helped others during the COVID-19 pandemic.