Leila Rose was 10 months old when she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer in 2009. She was diagnosed and treated at a leading children’s hospital in Australia. Her cancer was so rare that the hospital had only seen two other cases.
Our fight for her life showed us the pain and frustration experienced by families when their kids are diagnosed with rare childhood cancers.
For us, there was a thirst for knowledge, a burning drive to make sure that no stone was unturned and that every possible treatment option was considered. We also desperately wanted to achieve a balanced life for Leila- particularly in her last months. Being from the country this was even harder, and walking the fine line of being at home with her family and in Melbourne where her treatment was needed was always a difficult decision. We wanted our daughter to be continually in the company of her family, to feel that connectedness, despite her treatment.
Leila passed away in her sleep between us. We are grateful she was at home surrounded by everyone who loved her.
Although we have suffered the greatest loss parents can experience, we take heart in the fact the Leila’s name lives on through the Leila Rose Foundation. We are amazed that our foundation has been able to grow and help so many families nationwide.
Andrew and Tracy