Tag Archive for: cancer story

At just 5 years of age, a routine scan at Tamworth hospital identified a tumour on Lucy’s kidney. Her parents Belle and Mitch were advised to drive directly to the emergency rooms at Randwick children’s hospital in Sydney. Lucy, Nanna and Mum all jumped in the car to make the 5-hour trip to Sydney. What they had expected to be a day or two of tests, turned into a 3 week stay.

After a barrage of scans and blood work, Lucy was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Under a general anaesthetic, Lucy would have a port inserted to administer what would be the first of 12 rounds of chemotherapy. Whilst Lucy could go home – she would need to travel back and forth every week to receive her chemotherapy. The 5-hour trip home typically taking 8 hours with Lucy being so sick after treatment.

Whilst the chemo was successful in shrinking the tumour, a partial nephrectomy was needed to remove the remains which saw Lucy in hospital a further 2.5 weeks. Lucy’s prognosis is good, but she continues to make regular trips to Sydney for scans.

Over the course of a few months, Lucy’s family travelled near 15,000km and had to pay 6 weeks of accommodation in Sydney. It was a whole family effort – with Mum and Dad juggling Lucy and her two younger siblings Tommy (3 yrs) and Pip (1yrs). Lucy’s Grandparents were a vital part of the story. Belle was due to complete her maternity leave with Pip but was forced to delay her return to work and Mitch took many extra weeks off work juggling all the challenges.

“The massive shift in our lives…our world literally got turned upside down…faced with a challenge like this…weekly chemotherapy in Sydney, split family life…the emotional toll and time that it takes on us as a family” Belle, Lucy’s Mum.

Can Assist helped out by providing petrol vouchers, grocery vouchers and the payment of utility bills. “To know that Can Assist came along and supported us as a safety net was incredible.” Belle, Lucy’s Mum.


Jess discovered she had Stage 3 Melanoma at the age of 35 – the average age of this diagnosis is 65 years old. She thought that she was just getting a fatty cyst removed from her right shoulder. Fortunately, her doctor sent it off for testing, as it was a surprise to get this cancer diagnosis, given her age.

Jess had to travelled to Sydney (400kms from her hometown) to have surgery to remove the cancer and all the lymph nodes under her right arm, as it had spread. Then Jess had to face 12 months of immunotherapy at Westmead Hospital in Sydney. If Jess lived in Sydney, she could have gone to work in the morning, have the procedure in the afternoon, be home that night, be at work the next day. Instead for Jess the process took 2-3 days, due to the distance she lived from the treatment centre, and the fatigue from the treatment.