On Monday the 24th of March, 2014 our whole world came crashing down around us when our beautiful baby boy Kade was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour.
As parents you never expect to hear the words ‘your son has a brain tumour’. We were absolutely devastated. Kade was taken into surgery immediately and an emergency EVD was inserted to release the pressure from his brain. After an MRI it was confirmed that he had a golf ball sized mass, and he underwent a 9 hour long operation to remove the tumour.
His diagnosis a Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma. Kade was only 7 months of age when we were told our gorgeous boy only had a 1 in 3 chance of survival.
Kade spent the first few weeks at the Mater in Brisbane, half of that time was spent in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. He has undergone 3 major brain surgeries, one being the insertion of a permanent VP Shunt, over 10 blood transfusions, numerous MRI’s and Lumbar punctures, the insertion of a Central Line, four months of Chemotherapy and has just started 30 rounds of Radiation Treatments, followed by more Chemotherapy.
Radiation Therapy is the primary treatment for this tumour. Because of Kade’s age he had to be under a general anaesthetic each day of treatment during Radiation. It’s extremely difficult fasting a one year old from 3am every day and not being able to explain to him why he is not allowed to eat.
Kade will have to have frequent MRI scans and Lumbar Punctures for the duration of his young life to monitor any regrowth of the tumour in his brain or spine. Ependymomas have been found to be ‘chronic tumours’ meaning they have a tendency to recur, even if cured.
“Each day was a struggle during Kade’s treatment, some days were harder than others. We moved our entire life to Brisbane, leaving our home and everything that was once ‘normal’. Having a child with a brain tumour changes everything, all the small insignificant worries that were once big are now irrelevant.” said Kade’s Mum Michelle.
” It becomes about fighting for a life each day, enjoying the little things and never taking anything for granted.”
Fast forward 4 years and Kade and his big brother Kobi are now proud big brothers of Knox and Maci. “Every day is a milestone for Kade” says Kade’s Dad Aran. “At the moment he is not under and treatment so we enrolled him in prep at Kalbar State School”. Kade and his wonderful family have been amazing supporters of Brainchild Foundation and Kade is one of our Ambassadors for Jimmy’s 2 Million Steps for Kids Brain Cancer.
The nature of Kade’s type of brain cancer means that Aran and Michelle can never really relax about his illness – “It can come back at any time. We tend to live from MRI to MRI. It has been a long journey and it is one that will never stop. But, Kade is in Prep this year and that is a massive milestone – massive”.
Michelle and Aran (Kades Mum and Dad)