10 July 2020 Featured News

Young cancer survivor helps raise money for sick Queensland kids

A young Toowoomba local who beat cancer last year is putting his support behind a fundraising challenge in order to raise much-needed funds for the Children’s Hospital Foundation, and help kids just like him. 

Nine-year-old Charlie Wilson is an ambassador for the 42K Your Way fundraising challenge, helping to give back to everyone who helped him through his difficult diagnosis of Stage 2B Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma last year 

Charlie is just like any other nine-year-old – he loves to play rugby league, touch footy and ride bikes out on his farm in Toowoomba. On a seemingly ordinary day in 2019, Charlie took a fall from his motorbike, ending up with some scratches and bruises. 

In the following days, Charlie would wake and complain of feeling unwell, and of pain in his hips, back and abdomen, and so his mum, Leea, took him to see his GP 

An ultrasound was requested for a suspected hernia in Charlie’s groin, but further blood tests revealed then eight-year-old Charlie had an alarmingly abnormal white blood cell countHe was rushed to the Queensland Children’s Hospital, where an enormous and unexpected journey awaited him and his family. 

Once admitted, Charlie’s left leg started to swell, and a red rash had broken out on his abdomen and leg, so he was quickly scheduled in for surgery to have a lymph node excision and bone marrow testing, along with more ultrasounds, CT scans and regular blood tests.  

Not long after, Charlie’s condition had deteriorated so quickly that he was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).  

Charlie’s mum, Leea, said it was the most terrifying experience of her life, and his final diagnosis came as a relief. 

“Charlie had become sick so quickly, and we felt so helpless, so when we finally received the diagnosis of Hodgkin Lymphoma, I was relieved and didn’t cry about the diagnosis, because it was positive – four months of treatment, chemotherapy and steroids, and his cancer was very curable and treatable,” Leea said.  

“Charlie often asked me why it was him that was diagnosed with cancer, and why did he have to lose all of his hair? It was the hardest thing to try and explain that to him when all I wanted to do was take his pain away. 

“We are so very grateful for the whole team at the Queensland Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital Foundation for looking after our boy so well, which is why we want to give back by pledging our support to 42k Your Way this year, so the Foundation can keep helping kids, just like Charlie,” she added. 

Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO, Rosie Simpson, has commended Charlie and his mum for their incredible support. 

 “Everything we do is for kids like Charlie, and it’s such an incredible privilege that him and his family have chosen to raise awareness for the Children’s Hospital Foundation,” Ms Simpson said.  

“I encourage Queenslanders to get behind Charlie and go the distance for sick kids this August. It’s wonderful and I can’t wait to see the community come together.” 

42K Your Way is a free, virtual event that you can do on your own, from anywhere at any time. With every step, hop or jump, you’ll be getting fit and helping sick kids like Charlie. For more information on 42K Your Way, or to register, visit https://www.42kyourway.org.au/