side by side

side by side

Thanks to Box Magazine subscribers, the family of a young boy with cancer can continue to be by his side.

We rarely assume the worst when we’re unwell. Feeling a tad sick? It’s probably just a bug. A bit nauseous? Most likely just a virus. That’s exactly what mum Amanda thought when she took her son to the hospital after five days of nausea and stomach pains. Doctors mirrored Amanda’s suspicions, but called in surgeons to double-check. Lucky they did, as Andrew was diagnosed with appendicitis and an immediate removal was ordered.

Whilst being wheeled into the operating theatre, Andrew stopped breathing. He was then flown to Perth and rushed into emergency surgery, where doctors found that Andrew’s appendix was perfectly healthy, and the source of his discomfort was in fact eight kilos of cancerous tumours. Andrew was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. Despite its fast-growing nature, it is often curable with intensive treatment. Andrew had received six high-dose rounds of chemotherapy when we caught up with him.

Living 180 kilometres away from Perth, working the inflexible hours of a university lecturer, as well as being a single-mum of eight, Amanda was not only concerned about her son’s wellbeing, but how she would maintain an income. “When Andrew was diagnosed I was so stressed about his health, but at the same time I was worried about how I would provide for my family while I was away with Andrew and not able to work,” she said.

Thanks to Box Magazine subscribers, ToyBox has filled a grant with the Strike A Chord For Cancer Foundation to provide one month’s much-needed financial assistance for Andrew’s family and many others, in the way of groceries and fuel vouchers, enabling Amanda to be by his side.

Strike A Chord founder John Zaccaria said that sudden reduced income paired with extra travelling and household expenses creates a great deal of additional stress for families. “Providing them with assistance lets them know that there is a support network there to get them through this difficult time,” he said.

You can help improve the lives of more families like Andrew’s by subscribing to Box Magazine.