Jade was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was two. This is her story.

Hayley, Jade’s mum, had just recovered from breast cancer in 2013. Life was just starting to look normal again, when suddenly 2-year-old Jade started vomiting daily. She became very lethargic and started not wanting to play or leave the house. Her mum noticed that she had developed a slight tremor on her right side.

After a few weeks in and out of the GPs, Hayley was finally told to go to the emergency department. After arriving at the hospital, doctors decided to keep her overnight. Her mum remembers: “The next day Jade had an MRI scan done. I wasn’t suspicious until the MRI was over and they rushed over to give us the results almost immediately”.

Hayley was told Jade, her baby girl, had a brain tumour.

“Disbelief is the only way to describe the feeling. How could this possibly happen to my tiny little two year old?”, she recalls.


Jade was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 2-years-old. Source: Supplied

Hayley remembers the sadness they felt during this time: "We were so sad. We couldn’t believe how a tiny baby could have this massive brain tumour. It was devastating knowing that she was too young to understand what was happening to her. I worried that it might have been there growing for quite a while without any symptoms."

Two days later, Jade was in the Intensive Care Unit waiting to have her first brain surgery. The first of what would be 5 brain surgeries. The tumour covered the best part of the left side of her brain and the surgery took 6 hours. She then had numerous rounds of chemotherapy and was finally allowed to go home.


Jade with her mum and dad. Source: Supplied

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be long until Jade had a seizure and ended up back in the hospital. Tests were done and it showed that the tumour had not shrunk, she spent the next few weeks going in and out of hospital for another 4 brain surgeries. The forth damaged her speech and the right side of her brain, so she has had to re-learn most of her development milestones.

"It took Jade over a month to be able to sit up by herself again," Hayley said.

The fifth brain surgery finally got rid of the rest of the tumour but Jade still suffers from serious side effects caused by her treatment. She has speech delays and a right side weakness and it's unclear if she'll make a full recovery and attends weekly therapy at John Hunter Children’s Hospital.

Her family will never have a sense of 'relief' - as they live fearing her cancer could relapse.


Jade celebrating a recent birthday. Source: Supplied

"You just learn to get through each day and enjoy every moment. We just hope every time she has an MRI that everything is clear and then get on with trying to live as normally as possible and enjoy life in between scans," her mum said.

February 2016 was a big month for Jade. She started preschool, physical culture and had her NG tube taken out. She also managed to be weaned off all her meds apart from an ongoing seizure preventative. She also began to walk unaided and form 3-4 word sentences which are mostly understandable. Jade is most excited about starting kinder in 2017. If you asked her what her dream is she would most likely reply: "I dream of horses and sheep!"

Every year 950 Australian children and adolescents will be diagnosed with cancer. Every week nearly three Australian children and adolescents will die of cancer. September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The Children's Cancer Insititute are running the ‘Build for a Cure’ fundraising campaign in the Newcastle region where they've building a house from the ground up in 21 days. The house will be auctioned on October 23. In the meantime, you can enter their competition to win a $50,000 Ultimate Home Package by buying your virtual gold brick here.