The following article by Jessica Cortis was first published in The Daily Telegraph.
A LONDONDERRY family is facing two tough battles – with their outgoing six-year-old son facing a battle with a brain tumour and treatment bills piling up.
After four major operations, the Douglass family now face radiation therapyfor Levi, who has lost 60 per cent of his eyesight and stopped going to school so he can be treated at Randwick Children’s Hospital.
“The radiotherapy is making him a little tired but he’s dealing with it really well,” his mother Allison said.
“Levi attends the school at the hospital for two or three hours a day if he can. It brings a bit of normality to his life.
“Levi is very outgoing and loves his sport.
“He gets along well with his brother Cailan and likes watching him train for basketball whenever he can.”
Their youngest child’s diagnosis has taken its toll on Mrs Douglass who has resigned from her job, leaving Levi’s father as the sole source of income for the family.
“He can’t obviously take time off work to be at the hospital every day there is an operation or radiotherapy treatment, but we keep him well informed,” Mrs Douglass said of her husband Joshua. “It’s hard to have a plan because we don’t know what’s around the corner.’’
After paying $63 a day in tolls and hospital parking fees alone, the young family are finding it hard to support Levi and his brother Cailan.
“We’ve had to move into our parents house to take the ease off paying rent,” Mrs Douglass said.
In June, Levi’s grandmother, Ashley Sherry, created a crowd-funding campaign to help the family get through this tough time.
The money is needed to help the Douglass family with the everyday costs involved with Levi’s recovery.
“I do get the carer’s allowance but it isn’t much compared to what I would get in a fulltime job,” Mrs Douglass said.
Radiation therapy is due to finish in early August.
“We’re just taking each day as it comes,” Mrs Douglass said.
“The next step after treatment is to have another MRI and if it was a perfect world, find the tumour gone.
“But we just don’t know what’s around the corner.”
Levi’s support campaign is at mycause.com.au/page/129812