“On the 13th February 2014, our youngest daughter Lucy (age 8 years), was diagnosed with A.L.L (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia). Within 24 hours, we found ourselves in Brisbane, some 1,350kms away from home in Townsville (Northern QLD).
Our world collapsed.
Our two eldest daughters remained in Townsville. At the time, we had no idea of what lay ahead for us, let alone where we were going to stay whilst in Brisbane. All that mattered at that desperate time, was that we were by Lucy’s side. Thankfully, we had grandparents that were able to relocate to Townsville to care for our elder daughters.
We will be forever grateful when in the following days, Margi Ward (the Family Support Officer from CCS) approached us on word to make us aware of the support services that Childhood Cancer Support provided families like ours. We were fortunate enough to be offered a unit within weeks.
Our unit (TDH4) soon became our 2nd home over the course of the next 9 months. We decorated it with Lucy’s artwork, filled it with special family photos and grew in love with everything about it. It became our sanctuary; our safe haven when Lucy’s neutrophils were low and where we could escape the turmoil of chemotherapy.
Chloe and Sophie (Lucy’s much loved elder sisters) visited us often during school term and stayed each holiday. The holiday programs offered by CCS were a welcome distraction for them and provided hours of entertainment.
Childhood Cancer Support became much more than an accommodation provider – lifelong friendships were formed with other residents and the staff. We are going to miss these friends when we are home. We would suggest to join in the CCS family and take part in the many extra services that they offer – take some time out and book in a massage, join in and go to the monthly BBQ’s when you can – and say hi to Lois and Brian for us! The weekly Coffee, Cake & Chat on Wednesdays are also an opportunity to meet others and just take some time out.
We will miss the afternoons when all you could hear were the giggles from the kids playing in the playground, the impromptu chats with other parents – who we realised were a great comfort to us in times of need and a support that we appreciated. Lucy will miss her “day job” in the office. She became “Chief Shredder” and Gina welcomed her each day and genuinely took the time to make her feel special.
Cancer sucks, without a doubt. But when it is your child suffering, it is the most insidious disease there is. We will be forever grateful to CCS for providing our family with a home for our stay in Brisbane.”