It has been a while since my last post due to a very busy schedule; nonetheless, I am glad to be back on the blog. I would like to draw your attention to a special cause with the hope that you can assist in one way or another.
Natalie and Stephen Thomas are good friends of mine. Their family currently reside in Auckland, New Zealand. Their 9 year old son, Philip Thomas (pictured on the left), is an incredibly brave young boy who underwent neurosurgery in 2012 to remove a brain tumour that was diagnosed as Grade 2 Ependymoma. In addition, Philip underwent neurosurgery in 2013 to remove a second brain tumour which was diagnosed as Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma – the highest grade of this form of cancer.
Young Philip along with his parents have been fundraising for the month of July for the Child Cancer Foundation in support of other families that have children battling cancer. In so doing, they are helping to create an awareness about children with cancer thus enabling families to receive the on-going support that they need. Their fundraiser is called Philip’s Superhero Fundraiser (the link is provided at the end of this post) and it will end July 31st 2014.
Natalie (Philip’s Mum) has written about the experiences that Philip and their family have endured thus far. I have included her heart-felt piece below. Please take the time to read their story and please help by donating to the link provided at the end of this post as there are only a few days left to donate. Furthermore, if you can help by spreading the word, that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
The Thomas Family Story
This is a cause that is very dear to our hearts. Our amazing son Philip’s journey has prompted both my husband and I to help fundraise and to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
Philip’s journey started in August, 2012 when his first brain tumour was found and removed in Brisbane. This was a lengthy 14 hour operation in which Philip showed us just how strong and brave he really is.
Much to our dismay, the tumour was diagnosed as Grade 2 Ependymoma – which is a rare cancer that grows only in the brain and spine. Our whole world fell apart and our hearts were broken for our dear boy – to not only have to endure a lengthy operation but to then discover he had cancer was very hard for us to comprehend. Despite the odds Philip pulled through it all and was once again back to his cheery self after a few months of physio and numerous visits to his oncologist and neurosurgeon.
So with his future looking a lot brighter, we decided to bring the kids back home to New Zealand for a well deserved holiday in May, 2013. Our holiday was short lived though as it was discovered that a second tumour had grown again in the same spot as the last one.
Philip was once again having to go through brain surgery to remove it – this operation took 6 hours in June, 2013. We were hit once again by what felt like a tonne of bricks – and our hearts broken once again for our dear Philip. This tumour was diagnosed and upgraded to a Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma – the highest grade of this form of cancer. It was without a doubt that Philip would have to go through radiation treatment and he endured 6 weeks of it – 5 days a week, 30 days of treatment. Each day regardless of how tired he was, he proved day after day his strength and resilience to soldier on through what would’ve been something so scary and overwhelming for a child to go through. The radiotherapy team at Starship were incredible and supportive which helped to make this as easy as possible for him. His daily ritual was to play gangnam style and dance before each treatment with the team. His final day was in fact celebrated with a full on dance off to the song.
We are very pleased to say that his MRI scans since have been all clear and that he is enjoying going to school and being a regular 9 year old boy. And although his journey with this is not at an end yet, he will not be letting it get in his way of living life.
Without the continued support from the Starship oncology unit and his oncologist Dr Laughton, the Child Cancer Foundation and everyone else including his loving family, friends and school – we would not be able to do it without your love, prayers and support. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
In support of our fundraiser, Philip’s school – Monte Cecilia Primary in Hillsborough have agreed to a Superhero mufti day which will be held on 30 July. Philip and I chose this as we feel the whole idea emulates what a child with cancer is – a true Superhero; strong and brave. We will be having a gold colour theme to promote childhood cancer awareness, as well as a free sausage sizzle. I will post up photos of the day when it happens. Thank you for all the support from our Monte family. So, we would like to ask you all to please get behind us and our dear son Philip; and reach into not only your pockets, but your hearts and donate to this worthy cause. Please spread the word to your family, friends, work colleagues etc – to help raise funds to help our everyday superheroes, our children with cancer.
Love Philip and the Thomas family xo
TO MAKE A DONATION: If you would like to donate to a worthy cause please help Philip’s Superhero Fundraiser. Click on this link here: Philip’s Superhero Fundraiser to make your donation. There is only a few days left to donate.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please email Natalie Thomas on firstname.lastname@example.org