Kellie: "I had cancer, it never had me"

Kellie was 15 when she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. A ‘normal’ life of netball, rowing and hanging out with friends quickly turned into one of hospital visits, chemotherapy and endless test and medical procedures.

Kellie spent months in hospital where she was required to undergo treatment that would challenge her both physically and mentally. There was the nausea and the fatigue, the pain and the nasal gastric feeding tube; there was the distress and the fear, however her positivity and sense of humour never left her for long.   

After months of waiting a life-saving bone marrow transplant gave Kellie a chance to rebuild her life. Sourcing stem cells from an umbilical cord in Switzerland, doctors were able to provide Kellie with the treatment necessary for her survival.

Eighteen months after her diagnosis, Kellie returned to high school graduating just a year later.

From her poor prognosis – 10% survival rate – to living cancer free, Kellie’s story demonstrates how the work of the Children’s Cancer Foundation makes a life-saving difference. With our support and funding, Kellie had access to an international bone marrow transplant match and the extensive clinical and therapeutic care that contributed to saving her life – nurses, doctors, bone marrow specialists, art and music therapy.

Today Kellie has a successful career working in the mental health sector.

“When you support the Children’s Cancer Foundation, you are supporting something truly remarkable," said Kellie.

Thank you Kellie for sharing your story with us.

Kellie with Dr Keith Water, her oncologist at The Royal Children's Hospital