Dr Nick Gottardo with Chloe
You might remember Chloe's incredible story. It was just a few years ago we shared how this brave, then 16-year-old girl had defied the odds to survive medulloblastoma, a common and malignant brain cancer.
Chloe is not alone. Thanks to cancer research, great improvements in treatments have been made and 70% of children now survive medulloblastoma. But surviving often comes at a terrible cost. The impact of radiotherapy on a developing brain can be devastating.
Dr Nick Gottardo, who cared for Chloe, admits it can be hard, 'working with children with brain tumours is not easy. It is devastating when one of your patients dies or is severely affected in the long term by their illness and treatment.'
It's why this Daffodil Day we're hoping you will help our leading cancer researchers find safer ways to treat our youngest cancer patients.
Dr Nick Gottardo
When it comes to brain cancer, Dr Gottardo believes there is still so much work to be done, 'many brain tumours remain incurable; and the ones that we can cure often leave the children with a lot of long-term side effects, as a result of current therapies.'
With more funding, he believes there's enormous potential to help these kids, 'we have entered a new era of molecular targeted therapies-or "silver bullets" if you like-where we try and target weaknesses or the Achilles heel in the cancer by specifically blocking a molecule or molecules that the cancer needs to grow and survive.'
'There is great hope that these therapies might improve the outcomes for children with brain tumours.'
Chloe is one of the lucky ones, now 18, she has just finished high school. She lovingly refers to Dr Gottardo as ‘Saint Nick' and although she is still suffering side effects from her treatment, she believes Dr Gottardo's dedication is why her recovery has come so far in such a short time. 'He really is a miracle worker.'
Please donate this Daffodil Day, and help WA's leading cancer researchers turn promising new research into life-saving results for our young cancer patients.Through more research, we can find better ways to treat our youngest patients, so they don't just live, but live well.