Poppy is a little girl with a whole lot of fight.
Poppy’s mum and dad, Casey and Murray, received the devastating news that their six-year-old daughter had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
Within two hours, Poppy and her mother were on a flight from their home in Glen Innes to travel 450km to see their nearest children’s oncologist in Newcastle.
Poppy’s treatment started immediately.
Her journey began with a full day of testing to get a clear picture of how far the cancer had spread. Two days after she arrived in Newcastle, Poppy had her first round of chemotherapy to help treat the cancer.
Poppy and her mum didn’t pack much for their trip, as they were unaware how long they would be away. Poppy’s dad remained at home to ensure he could work to support the family and look after her brother, Percy.
During Poppy’s treatment the family wanted to be together, so Murray made the tough decision to close the doors on their family restaurant and follow Poppy to Newcastle.
Together, the family have shown great strength supporting Poppy through her treatment at John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle.
They credit that they were able to be by her side thanks to the accommodation support provided by our Newcastle based Ronald McDonald House, which is right next door to where Poppy receives her treatment.
Our Newcastle House helps 613 families per year by providing a comfortable place to stay and peace of mind, knowing you can stay together and close to your child at John Hunter Children’s Hospital.
Poppy, Percy, mum and dad have spent 240 nights at Ronald McDonald House, which has offered a home-away-from-home for them.
“Ronald McDonald House saved our lives. Without it, parents like us would be sleeping in their cars in hospital parking lots. We have done it, we have seen it, and it’s still happening,” Casey said.
“Ronald McDonald House Newcastle services the whole of Northern NSW. Some nights they have to turn away families, as their 12 bedrooms aren’t enough for everyone.”
For the month of September, community members and businesses will pull together for the Ride for Sick Kids to provide crucial funds that will help us to keep our doors open so we can support hundreds of other families, just like Poppy’s.
“You hope to god you never need their help. Some of you will. Please support the charity that brought us in from the cold,” Casey said.