Phoenix’s story

When Mum, Renata felt a hard mass on the right side of Phoenix’s tummy, she knew she needed to get him to a doctor.

An ultrasound confirmed her worst fears – her then one-year-old son was diagnosed with a stage four Wilms’ tumour.

Phoenix was admitted to the oncology ward at the Queensland Children’s Hospital and began chemotherapy treatment. A month later his hair began to fall out and Mum, Renata says “that’s when the reality of cancer
set in.”

Because of his lowered immunity Phoenix was hospitalised multiple times with high temperatures, viruses, chicken pox and shingles. He needed a six-hour operation to remove the tumour on his right kidney, and radiation to his lung and abdomen.

“There are no words to describe how we were feeling except numb, anxious, scared, angry, confused and disorientated.”

Mum, Renata explains. “Our thoughts were how do we say goodbye to our precious little boy and how the hell do we break the news to our other three children.

How could we possibly go on without him in our lives and remain strong for the rest of the family?”

“The services provided by the Children’s Hospital Foundation make a wonderful difference to patients and their families in hospital”

Mum, Renata describes how the services of the Children’s Hospital Foundation helped to make the family stay just that little bit more manageable. “Phoenix loved it when the volunteers walked in the room; he enjoyed the playdough, bubbles and multiple balls he received.

Music therapy was great, he loved playing with all the instruments and would often just lay there and listen to the music.”

Phoenix finally completed chemotherapy at the end of April and in August he rang the bell to signify the end of his reatment.  Watch this very special moment here.

Story written and details correct June 2019

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.