George

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Big sister Arabella is very protective of her cheeky little brother George, who's just 2 years old. She always keeps an eye him and the two play together happily whenever they get the chance.

George and his family

Sadly, the siblings are often apart for long stretches of time. When George was just 11 months old, he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.

George in hospitalMum Sarah said he'd been unwell with a gastro bug, but two weeks later showed no change. Tragically, tests revealed a tumour the size of a golf ball on the base of George's brain.

Sarah said at the moment of diagnosis they didn't have any idea of the severity of George's tumour, so tried to focus on taking it one day at a time. George had surgery at Royal Hobart Hospital where surgeons managed to remove 95% of the tumor. But he needed further treatment.

He was flown to Melbourne for six rounds of intensive chemotherapy, stem cell treatment and six weeks of radiation. It was an agonising time for the family to see George endure so much pain. In total, George spent 180 days in hospital away from the familiarity of home.

Sarah said their life now is almost unrecognisable from before the diagnosis, and they are gradually adjusting to their new 'normal'.

George in hospital

Stories like these are only made possible thanks to our generous supporters. If you'd like to help make a difference for a child, you can donate below.  > Make a Donation

George is still suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation with little oral food intake, so receives most of his nutrition via a feeding tube. He wakes throughout the night, and getting him back to sleep often takes hours. He needs 24-hour care from mum or dad Darren, and can't be left with anyone else.

It's gruelling and there's the constant worry as the family faces each next test, procedure or check-up.

Hospital remains part of their life, and George has regular fortnightly appointments at both Royal Hobart Hospital and Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.

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George's development is delayed and he's undergoing tests for hearing, cognitive impairment, language and occupational health needs. George's cancer will be a life time journey, not just once active treatment has finished.
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George's mum, Sarah

George and Arabella in the Starlight Express RoomAmid all the pain and sadness for George and his family, there have been moments of happiness thanks to Captain Starlight and the Starlight Express Room.

Every trip to hospital includes a visit to the Starlight Express Room to have some fun and get away from all things medical.

"Without a doubt, Starlight has supported us on a daily basis," Sarah says. "The crafts, the dancing and game playing all create so many happy and positive memories for us."

During George's treatment, the Starlight Express Room helped the whole family reconnect and have some valuable joy and happiness. Arabella loved being in the Starlight Express Room laughing and playing with her brother, and it gave Sarah and Darren some welcome respite from the stress and anguish of hospital.

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The Starlight Express Room was such a wonderful place to go. It was a distraction from the day to day issues, concerns and treatment worries. It was very much part of our family's daily routine, and to us it was part of our extended family and support during that time.
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George's mum, Sarah

George and Arabella with Captain Starlight

And to Starlight supporters she said: "Thank you, without a doubt your role as a donor is vital so that Starlight can continue to be there for families like ours."

Stories like these are only made possible thanks to our generous supporters. If you'd like to help make a difference for a child, you can donate below.  > Make a Donation
Stories like these are only made possible thanks to our generous supporters. If you'd like to help make a difference for a child, you can donate below.
> Make a Donation

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