On Sunday the 27th of May 2012 he woke in a world of pain and could not feel or use his legs. An emergency MRI was scheduled and that’s when the doctors discovered a tumor inside his spinal cord.
He was rushed straight out of the MRI into emergency surgery to remove the tumor and save his life as it was slowly closing down his body. Doctors had to cut through his vertebrae and open up his spinal cord to get to the tumor to remove as much as possible.
After surgery we had a tense wait for ten days to get results and they proved to be every parents worst nightmare. Our beautiful son has cancer.
Declan has been diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiform High Grade Stage 4 Spinal Tumor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glioma This is a malignant incurable cancer that is extremely aggressive. Declan had a round of steroid’s during the recovery stage to help reduce swelling and aid in a faster surgical recovery. He then went on to his first round of Chemo and Radium and is fighting hard and we remain positive and praying for a miracle.
He now requires around the clock care and has lost all functions of his body below thoracic vertebrae 10 (belly button) and is wheelchair bound. Declan uses a pressure mattress to sleep on and requires four hourly turns at night to avoid pressure sores as well as special seating in his wheelchair. He requires intense physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy to teach him to function as normally as possible in his new daily life.
On last Monday Declan started the second phase of his treatments, which is six months of twenty-eight day cycles of Chemotherapy, and this is where the dosage of Chemo is doubled to fight the cancer. No doubt, this will be challenging for our little boy.
We would like to say thanks to the wonderful team of surgeons at the Mater Hospital Brisbane who rushed to operate and potentially saved Declan’s life, and the nursing staff who watched him around the clock for the next ten days before he was transferred to the Royal Brisbane Children’s Hospital where his treatment was to begin. Thanks to the fantastic team of oncologists, doctors, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, nursing staff, counselors, wardies and all the team who have got Declan and our family to this point. You have all been fantastic and we are eternally grateful. We continue to rely on your help and expertise and look forward to great progress in his treatment.
Some facts on Cancer in kids:
• Cancer is the leading cause of death in children in Australia.
• One child under eighteen will be diagnosed with cancer every nine hours.
• One child in Australia will die of cancer every two and a half days.
• Approx. 15,000 children living with cancer today – in Australia.
• Approx. 40% of children diagnosed with cancer will die from the disease.
We would like to say a big special thanks to all our family, friends, work colleagues, friends of friends and people we do not even know for your words of support, your financial help, your prayers and just your plain good wishes. It has helped in so many ways throughout our journey so far.
We would like to close out this story about our son and just say to you all that when you go home tonight and see your family and especially your children / grandchildren give them a big hug or ring them and tell them that you love them dearly, as like us, you don’t know if that could be taken away from you at any time.
Your children are the most important thing you will ever have in your life, so again, enjoy every moment with them and let them know that you love them.
Thanks once again for all your help, thoughts, prayers, and good wishes and support of our Hegarty Family, especially Declan’s brother Angus and his sister Hollie. They are both very strong and gorgeous individuals.
How can you help?
Thank you to everyone so far that has helped, we truly appreciate your support.
We are in the process of renovating our family home to become ‘wheel chair’ friendly (Declan is a maniac in his wheel chair already)
So yes, we do need some financial help but we are also trying to put in what effort we can, to help other families and their children that are going through similar situations as us.
We have set up “Project Declan”http://www.facebook.com/ProjectDeclan to:
• Help with some of our renovation expenses, bedding, wheel chair, and personal care for Declan and a few other expenses, including a wheel chair capable vehicle.
• Brain Child Foundation www.brainchild.org.au
• Smiling for Smiddy www.smiddy.org.au (Mater Foundation)
• Camp Qualitywww.campquality.org.au/public/home.aspx
• Ronald McDonald Househttp://www.rmhc.org.au/
How / Where can you donate to help?
• Direct Deposit: – Band Of QLD. BSB 124-150. A/c 21849409. Declan Hegarty.
• Every Day Hero Page:-http://www.everydayhero.com.au/project_declan
• Mt Cootha 24Hr Challenge (See below) – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Funds donated to these options will be redirected to the Project Declan and in turn passed onto to the above beneficiaries.
Mt Cootha 24 Hr Challenge:
Declan’s dad Martin (most of you will already know) and Declan’s Uncle (Anthony) will cycle for 24Hours continually around Mt Cootha in Brisbane to raise funds for the above Cancer Foundations and Cancer beneficiaries.
Date: Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th November 2012.
Time: Start 10.00am and finishing with a 10.00am Friends and Family Breakfast on Sunday morning. Please come and join us for Breakfast.
Mt Cootha: 24hr Challenge. These brothers will climb the height of Mt Everest in 24Hrs.
Your Challenge: Sponsor the boys per lap. (They believe they will do min. 25Laps).
Send your commitment to sponsor the boys’ email@example.com Declan’s Aunty (Jocelyn) and Cousin (Emma) will reply to your email and any questions. Commitments will be collected once the 24Hr Challenge is complete.
If you can help the brothers in any way with this Challenge, they will appreciate your support. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Those of you familiar with Mt Cootha will know that this is an extreme challenge in itself and they have set their Cancer Fund raising sights just as high.