Gus is an inquisitive and playful five year old who loves to ask questions and find out how the world works.
There was a time that Gus’ parents Lindsay and Michael didn’t know how to answer his questions. Gus seemed to have a never ending virus.
He was lethargic, had no appetite and a fever he couldn’t shake. His parents took him to Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) thinking it was only a virus. After a blood test had an irregular result, there were more tests and finally Gus’ parents had an answer for him. It was leukemia.
Gus’ treatment commenced straight away. There was no time for him or his family to process what was happening. Gus went into surgery the day after his diagnosis to complete bone marrow aspirations to determine the kind of leukemia. The doctors diagnosed Gus with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-Cell).
Gus had intensive treatment for 10 months involving various levels of chemotherapy and hospital appointments. Gus’ younger sister, who he is inseparable from, had to be taken care of by other family members and friends while Gus’ parents juggled his ever-changing treatment regime. He wasn’t able to play with his friends or enjoy going out to his favourite skatepark to prevent him getting any other viruses because his immune system was so low. Gus’ mum Lindsay says, ‘Gus has become incredibly anxious and isolated during this time.” His parents had to hold him down during treatments that were full of Gus’ tears and screaming.
Gus and his family turned to the amazing support of numerous Telethon beneficiaries to navigate this uncertain time. A playgroup through the Kids Cancer Support Group gave Gus an opportunity to play and connect with others going through a similar journey. He built friendships with other children who understood how he was feeling and his parents connected with other caregivers to share and learn from each other’s experiences.
The frequent hospital visits were helped by Telethon beneficiaries including Starlight Children’s Foundation and Clown Doctors who found a way to make Gus laugh in his most difficult and painful moments.
Gus’ dad, Michael is so appreciative of the generosity of West Australians donating to Telethon, “Every cent is going to help vulnerable children, their siblings and their families in ways we could only dream about”.
You can help more children like Gus return to their talkative and inquisitive self after months of intense therapy by donating to Telethon so that more beneficiaries can provide support to children and their families navigating a very challenging time.
You can donate today at telethon7.com/donate