Fight for Ryder, the 3-year old with four months to live.

3-year-old Ryder.


Ryder was having nose bleeds for a year and a half before we went to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Every doctor turned us away saying that he must have been picking nose!

I knew it couldn’t be that straight forward — his nose had been bleeding daily.

The doctors would blame his age, say it happens to every child and that it was nothing to worry about. My motherly instinct told me that that they were wrong. In December Ryder passed out and he wouldn’t wake up. I knew something was seriously wrong. My baby boy had been suffering.

Frantically I took him to the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and straight away they knew something was wrong. How could all of the Doctors I had seen over the last year and a half have missed this?

Ryder had his first blood transfusion and was admitted into the hospital for two weeks before being sent home. In December last year we where told Ryder had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)

What is it ?

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. AML is characterised by an overproduction of immature white blood cells, called myeloblasts or leukaemic blasts. These cells crowd the bone marrow, preventing it from making normal blood cells. They can also spill out into the blood stream and circulate around the body. Due to their immaturity, they are unable to function properly to prevent or fight infection. Inadequate numbers of red cells and platelets being made by the marrow cause anaemia, and easy bleeding and/or bruising.

Acute myeloid leukaemia is sometimes called acute myelocytic, myelogenous or granulocytic leukaemia.

Ryder with his mum in hospital.

Ryder has endured four cycles of intense chemotherapy. He is on medication throughout these cycles and was admitted to the hospital for a minimum of seven weeks at a time. This was the most heartbreaking time of our lives.

We have lived all year in hospital endured countless bmas and lumber punctures and blood transfusions. When the first round didn’t work, the doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant and it took six months to find a match — we were incredibly lucky to even find a donor.

Then Ryder had conditioning, which is one of the worst most painful types of chemotherapy. It was devastating to watch him suffer. My little boy didn’t know who I was or anything that was going on throughout. He slept for five days straight.

Ryder was put onto contact morphine as well as countless medications. Then our dream of the transplant happened and he got through that with flying colours, we were so happy and were discharged after 25 days.

On Day 30 we were told Ryder was cancer free and I thought the nightmare was over. A month later we were told that Ryder had relapsed and had 10% blasts (cancer . By Day 90, it was 60% blasts and now today we have been told there is nothing else they can do for my angel – my beautiful 3-year-old.

Ryder is all smiles with his mum Isabelle.

I couldn’t take that as an answer and I still don’t accept that this will end of Ryder’s very short life. Ryder started a new kind of chemotherapy on Wednesday. We have been told it won’t get rid of his cancer, but it may keep it at bay. The doctors have not ever seen this type of aggressive cancer before.

You can donate to help Ryder’s mum pay for his treatment here or show your support on the Fight for Ryder Facebook page.