The Long Road - Casey's Story

When Pip’s four-year-old daughter Casey came home from Kindy feeling run down with a sore neck Pip didn’t have any idea of the long road that lay ahead. She explains:

“I took Casey to the doctor just to be sure – he thought it was a virus and said she’d be fine. After a few days she was worse, I was really worried so took her back to a local GP and said ‘look at her hands and feet they’re yellow she can’t even walk anymore we need help!’”

The doctor put in an urgent call to the paediatric ward at their local hospital and Pip took Casey there straightaway. The team did blood tests and confirmed she’d need a blood transfusion and IV antibiotics. Pip rang her partner who works overseas:

“Dave’s out in the middle of nowhere; it takes 24 hours to get back to NZ, I rang him and said ‘I don’t know what’s going on but you need to get home’ he was in shock.”

Casey was transferred by air ambulance to a hospital with a specialist oncology ward:

“I felt completely numb. They took us to the oncology ward and I remember thinking ‘why are we here? It’s a virus, Casey hasn’t got cancer!’ ”

Sadly bone marrow tests confirmed Casey did have cancer – she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL):

“We spent four months in the hospital – Casey was a legend – she’s an incredible little girl and coped really well. I thought to myself ‘if she we can be so strong and positive so can I.’ ”

Pip would need help though and was put in touch with LBC:

“Deborah from Support Services called me, she’s so knowledgeable and approachable, it’s easy to retreat into your shell but Deb made it easy for us to reach out and ask for help.”

Deb encouraged Pip to attend one of LBC’s local support groups:

“I was nervous about going but it was good to connect with others who’ve walked the same path and are going through the same emotions and hardships.”

Casey is currently in her sixth round of chemotherapy and has another 15 months of treatment ahead of her. It’s been hard on the whole family as Pip explains:

“Casey’s little sister Tegan has grown up a lot over the past year as she’s watched Casey go through treatment. The bond between them is beautiful; they’re best friends and very protective of each other.”

The family still has a long road ahead but things are progressing well:

“We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing. My message to others going through this is to accept help – don’t be too proud to say ‘yes’ as the right help can really take the pressure off.”