Alana’s story

In a cruel twist of fate, the best option to make Alana better also had a devastating side effect.

When Alana was just four years old, her parents Jayson and Sarah received the devastating news that their little girl had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Alana, in her own words, described how she felt sick and how Mummy and Daddy took her to the doctors several times when she had high temperatures, a bad cough and a sore wrist.

After weeks of multiple doctors visits, Alana was taken to the hospital with welts on her body.

“The doctors did some blood tests on me,” Alana remembered. “I had to have three people hold me down, and it hurt so much. I was crying for a long time, I was very frightened.”

Those blood tests revealed abnormal cells. Alana had cancer.

“Mummy told me we were going somewhere called the oncology ward. I started crying and didn’t stop until I got upstairs to my new bed."

It was a Thursday when Alana had her first dose of chemotherapy. Three days later, she had her second dose – this time a different chemotherapy than the first.

A few days later, she was allowed to go home, but was back in hospital the next day.

Sarah said she knew something was not right.

“She couldn’t lift her arm, she was unable to move her leg, and was always looking to the left and not focusing on anything,” Sarah said.

Alana was taken to the paediatric intensive care unit, and doctors explained yet again a heartbreaking situation to Sarah and Jayson.

“They took her for a CT scan and found that she had a bleed on the brain and a blood clot,” Sarah recalled.

“It turns out the chemotherapy drug that was used the second time had an uncommon side effect of blood clots, and poor Alana had gotten that side effect."

“What was even worse was this chemotherapy drug was the best chemotherapy for leukaemia and Alana would have to have it again.”

Alana defied all the odds, and completed her treatment in January 2018. She now visits Queensland Children’s Hospital every six weeks to ensure the leukaemia is not coming back.

“Like any child Alana was extremely scared at the start of her treatment, but with the help from the occupational therapist at Lady Cilento she was able to work through the frightening procedures.”

During her long periods in hospital, Alana loved the activities organised by the Children’s Hospital Foundation, in particular the volunteers playing and doing arts and craft with her, and the animal visits.

Now at home, Alana enjoys playing with her brother and sister, and listening to music, especially her favourite artist Pink.

Alana is one of 19 ambassadors for the Woolworths Regional Wall Tokens campaign.

By purchasing a $2 wall token from now until the end of September, you are helping fund equipment and programs in your local hospital, which help families like Alana’s through an emotional, stressful, and at times uncertain journey.

Woolworths Regional Wall Tokens is an opportunity to highlight some of the brave kids throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales, who you can help by purchasing a wall token.

Other ways you can help

Everything we do for sick and injured kids is made possible by the generosity and support of our donors, partners and the community.