Childhood cancer is cruel. It demands the smallest and most innocent among us to show up every day and fight its torturous doings. Some will lose their hair, some will be overcome with nausea and fatigue, some will face surgery that takes them away from their families for hours and heartbreakingly, some will never get better.
“The more CEOs and business leaders that get involved, the better. More CEOs equals more money and that means a better chance to helping put an end to childhood cancer.” – Chris Dutton
That’s why supporting Children’s Cancer Institute is so vital. Because of its life-saving research and persistence to eradicate childhood cancer for good, many children like Ava and Nixon are cancer-free today.
Meet Ava, 11-year-old Childhood Cancer Ambassador
Ava was 18 months old when her mum, Kirsty, noticed a suspicious rash and golf ball-sized lumps behind her ears. Although the doctors suspected it was only the mumps, Kirsty insisted on a blood test. When the blood test came back, the doctor was fairly certain that Ava had leukaemia and had her admitted to Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick. A bone marrow biopsy would confirm the worst – Ava had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. She began treatment the next morning.
Treatment went well and Ava went into remission. She went through a gruelling 18 months of oral chemotherapy and was stable for seven months. But the night before her check-up, Kirsty noticed the same rash reappear on Ava’s skin. Ava had relapsed.
She had to go back to the hospital for much more intense chemotherapy this time. It continued for 35 days straight, making Ava too sick to even talk. Luckily, a matched bone marrow donor was found overseas, and Ava received a transplant. Today, six years post-transplant, Ava is 11 and absolutely thriving.
Meet Nixon, 5-year-old Childhood Cancer Ambassador
Nixon’s story, though different, is no less frightening. He was born with a fist-sized tumour on his head. At barely one week old, Nixon underwent a five-hour operation to biopsy the tumour. An agonising week went by before his parents were given the news – Nixon had an extremely rare and aggressive cancer and needed to start chemotherapy right away.
After four excruciating rounds of chemotherapy, Nixon’s tumour was finally small enough to remove with surgery. Six more rounds were given to target any remaining cancer cells. Over the course of his short life, Nixon endured more than 30 weeks of harsh chemotherapy and six surgeries. Today, he still feels the effects of his treatment, undergoing complicated skin graft procedures to help heal his head wound where the tumour was.
Despite feeling better, Nixon is still not out of the woods yet. The truth is, if he relapses, his chances of survival significantly decrease. That’s why Children’s Cancer Institute’s research and your help is so vital.
The CEO Magazine Founder Chris Dutton has made it his mission to help end childhood cancer for good by partnering with the Institute for the CEO Dare to Cure event – something he’s been heavily invested in since it began in 2018.
“Our aim is to spread the word to encourage other CEOs to join. The more CEOs and business leaders that get involved, the better,” Chris says. “More CEOs equals more money and that means a better chance to helping put an end to childhood cancer.”
This year, to help spread the word, Ava and Nixon got the chance to ask Chris tough questions about the things that frighten him and his top tips for overcoming fears. You won’t want to miss this inspirational video full of strength, bravery and fun – the kids are tickled to find out Chris’s dare this year!
Let’s give other kids like Ava and Nixon the chance to become a success story too. Show your support by getting involved with CEO Dare to Cure, supporting Chris’s fundraising goal, or making a general donation.