There is nothing more important than saving a child's life.Josi, Lulu's mum
Lulu was a bright, bubbly, joyous child with no health issues or concerns - but when she was eight months old, her family knew something was up.
Lulu had a fever that wouldn't go away. At first, her parents thought it was teething issues, so they took her to the hospital for further tests - but never made it home after that.
A second opinion
Many doctors and tests later, Lulu's fever was still refusing to dissipate. The family was sent to Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick - where they found a tumour in her abdomen and extensive cancer in her bones and bone marrow.
Being told your child has cancer is every parent's worst nightmare - you can't ever be fully prepared to hear those words.
The tumour in Lulu's abdomen was the size of a grapefruit. She was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma and started immediately on chemotherapy - but did not respond to her first four rounds.
Neuroblastoma is one of the most aggressive forms of childhood cancer with a survival rate of about 50% - making it a high research priority for our scientists. Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the nervous tissue, which forms solid tumours.
Lulu's courage and resilience during her treatment makes her my absolute hero and inspiration.
Lulu's lack of response meant her case was upgraded to high-risk. Today, aged just five, she has undergone a dozen rounds of chemo, several surgeries, a transplant, radiation and an immunotherapy trial.
We desperately need more effective, less toxic treatments to improve the abysmal survival rates of neuroblastoma and give kids like Lulu a brighter future.
Lulu's case continues to defy statistics and she is still not cancer-free. Her family is now playing an anxious waiting game; hoping for breakthroughs in scientific research that lead to new and innovative drug discoveries.
Zero Childhood Cancer is the first personalised medicine program for children with high-risk cancer in Australia, like Lulu. It will analyse the cancer cells of each child so their individual disease can be treated in the most targeted way possible.
Zero Childhood Cancer will give hope to children like Lulu, who are at highest risk of treatment failure or relapse.