CQ family fights for others after baby survives rare cancer
EMERALD'S Macie Boag will receive the best Christmas present a mum could ask for, the first year of her young daughter being cancer free.
When Mrs Boag noticed her one-year old's stomach slowly getting bigger last year, she never expected that her baby, Rein, was growing an ovarian tumour.
When Rein started screaming with pain whenever her mum touched her belly, they were flown to Queensland Children's Hospital for further testing.
After ultrasounds and CT scans, Rein was taken in for surgery, where surgeons removed a mass from her ovaries and sent it off for testing.
A week later, one-year-old Rein was diagnosed with a very rare type of ovarian cancer.
"When we received the diagnosis, I was struggling to understand how something like this could happen to someone so young and so innocent," Mrs Boag said.
"I blamed myself a lot, wondering where I had gone wrong for something so awful to happen to my baby."
According to the Chilren's Hospital Foundation, fewer than five children are diagnosed with ovarian cancer at Queensland Children's Hospital each year.
Rein started chemotherapy and spent more than four months in hospital receiving treatment.
She finished her last round of chemotherapy earlier this year, one day before her second birthday, when her family was told she was officially in remission.
Now two, Rein is back home in Emerald enjoying being a cheeky toddler, but still returns to the Queensland Children's Hospital for check-up scans and blood tests every three months.
Mrs Boag said during their time in hospital, Rein was visited frequently by the Children's Hospital Foundation bedside play volunteers, who helped her pass time and bring a smile to her face.
The family is now sharing its story to help other sick children by encouraging locals to donate to the 2020 Nine Telethon in support of the Children's Hospital Foundation.
In the past year, almost 1000 admissions to the Queensland Children's Hospital were children from Central Queensland, Children's Hospital Foundation chief executive officer, Rosie Simpson, said.
Money raised through the telethon will fund vital medical research, lifesaving medical equipment, and patient and family support services for sick children and their families across Queensland and northern New South Wales.
"Every single donation, no matter the size, helps us work wonders for sick kids just like Rein," Ms Simpson said.
"It's never easy having a seriously ill or injured child, and that can sometimes be made harder for those living in regional areas, who have to travel long distances for treatment and medical appointments.
"Telethon gives us the opportunity to help families get back on their feet through the funding of groundbreaking research, state-of-the-art equipment, and patient and family support at Queensland Children's Hospital."
To donate to the Nine Telethon, visit 9telethon.com.au or call 1800 909 900. Tune in to the Nine Telethon at 3pm on Saturday, November 14 for more inspiring stories like Rein's.
The telethon will be broadcast live from the Queensland Children's Hospital, The Kids Ball at Queensland Cricketer's Club, and the Sunsuper Contact Centre on Channel Nine and 9Now.