Oliver has always been an active boy; he loved heading off to school of a morning and playing his best in basketball, AFL and soccer.
Tragically, shortly before Oliver turned ten, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, which means that the cancer had already spread to other parts of his body. Oliver had been complaining of a sore tummy but otherwise he was well and active, so the diagnosis came as a huge shock. Oliver was taken to the doctor several times before being referred to the hospital where he had an ultrasound, xray and CT scan of his lower abdomen. Following these, he was referred to another hospital to see the oncologist and the next day he was admitted to hospital for two weeks which would be the start of a very long and hard journey.
The only treatment for this aggressive cancer was chemotherapy followed by surgery. Oliver endured five incredibly tough months, as he underwent five rounds of chemotherapy. He spent a week in hospital for each cycle. Halfway through the program of chemotherapy, Oliver withstood a marathon 13 hours of surgery to remove his tumours.
‘He was so brave as he went into surgery and worked so, so hard to recover in the days and weeks that followed.’ Oliver’s mum Sarah said.
After the invasive surgery and months of chemotherapy, Oliver started immunotherapy; an intensive treatment designed help his own body fight the cancer if it was to return. The immunotherapy program went for 18 months.
Oliver was very ill, suffering from nausea, extreme pain, and fever.
‘Throughout his treatment Oliver always remained strong and kept up with this schoolwork; working hard towards his goal of returning to school when it was over.’ Oliver’s mum Sarah said.
In 2020, Oliver’s hard work, dedication and resilience paid off and he successfully started high school. For the first few months he was having fun navigating classes, timetables, teachers, and assessment tasks, and making friends.
‘Unfortunately, schooling turned online with Covid-19 but Oliver was well prepared having done distance education and home schooling for the last two years.’ Oliver’s mum Sarah said.
Oliver is delighted with the easing of restrictions as he is now back at school and loving it. He has started soccer training again and looking forward to games in Term 3.
Oliver has been very lucky in that now he is an active healthy boy. Every three months Oliver has full body scans and every 6 months he has full blood tests and detailed physical exam. With all the treatment, including chemotherapy, we hope that Oliver has minimal long term side effects.