I don't want any child to go through what Jayden's been through. No child deserves that.LEISL, JAYDEN'S MUM
Always a cheerful little chap, 18-month-old Jayden was spotted one day by his neighbour walking with a tilt in his neck. Some days later, he developed what doctors thought was a gastric infection - but he didn't get any better.
First sign of trouble
Jayden's mum Leisl took him to Princess Margaret Hospital and mentioned his neck tilt to the doctor on duty, who undertook a CT scan - and discovered a golf ball-sized tumour in his head.
Jayden was diagnosed with one of the most aggressive brain cancers there is and given just a 10% chance of survival. Another three weeks undetected and he would have died.
Brain tumours are the second-most common type of cancer to affect children and the most fatal of all childhood cancers, making them an immediate priority for Children’s Cancer Institute.
The fear upon hearing 'Your child has cancer' was so overwhelming, so gut-wrenching, like nothing I'd ever felt before.
Jayden's surgeons removed 99% of the tumour in his brain - but the remaining 1% was still potentially lethal. The only way to kill it was with a very harsh treatment regime.
The hardest part was having to hold him down while he was pleading with me to make it stop.
The treatment needed to save Jayden's life nearly killed him, but he survived. Today, his family lives in fear that his cancer might return. If it does, there is no currently-known treatment that can help him.
Personalised medicine means more options, kinder treatment and more lives saved. It's for children like Jayden that Children's Cancer Institute urgently needs to bring its Personalised Medicine Program forward.
Personalised medicine offers a more structured approach to treatment for kids like Jayden with high-risk brain cancers and other high-risk malignancies.
Research is vital
Ten years ago, there would have been nothing Jayden's doctors could have done for him and he would have died. The only way we can eventually save every child with cancer is through medical research.
We are currently undertaking a research program to establish tailored therapeutics for children like Jayden with high-risk brain tumours.
We need to continue supporting research, because children are still dying.