Blood Cancer Real Patient Stories

Patient stories

Inspiring videos

Patients share their stories and experiences with blood cancer.

Find out more

Leukaemia: It left our family in pieces

On the day Nidhi Raj were set to celebrate the birth of their son, their three-year-old, Kiaan was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Find out more

Lymphoma: Amy opens door to a cure

Mum-of-three Amy found out on Christmas Eve she had a tumour in her chest.

Find out more

Lymphoma: Rare blood cancer keeps Kyle from his beloved soccer

Kyle went to hospital with a swollen knee, but his family never suspected the cause of the swelling could be cancer.

Find out more

Brendan Hodda and family

Leukaemia: It was like going through the four seasons

Brendan was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia just three days before his 40th birthday.

Find out more

Tommy Barkmeyer featured image

Lymphoma: I'm thankful for a 'new normal' after my needle in haystack match

Tommy was diagnosed with a rare type of lymphoma after suffering an epileptic seizure.

Find out more

Lymphoma: Shock diagnosis three days before wedding

Mick Zuvelek was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma only three days before his wedding.

Find out more

Aplastic anaemia: No easy ride

Instead of finishing high school and hanging out with her friends, 16-year-old Jessie was fighting a life-threatening blood disorder.

Find out more

Chris Brugger and family

Lymphoma: new drug gave Chris another chance

“My wife was heavily pregnant when I had my second transplant.”

Find out more

Peter Younis

Waldenstrom's: Peter's promising clinical trial results

When Victorian vet Peter Younis relapsed, he opted to try a clinical trial for a targeted therapy rather than having more chemo.

Find out more

Elle Halliwell and husband Nick

Leukaemia: "I was diagnosed with CML then found out I was pregnant"

“We made the decision to go through with having the baby, and then we reached out to the Leukaemia Foundation.”

Find out more

Leukaemia: Little Lucia a precious gift

After a bone marrow transplant Tegan’s dream of having a baby were realised when her sister donated her eggs.

Find out more

Clinton thumbnail

AML: "It was a real rollercoaster"

“I just want as much time as possible with my family and be able to be there for my kids.”

Find out more

Jeremy Bird

Leukaemia: With strength, support, and love we got through it

Jeremy had never had a health scare in his life before being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Find out more

Aleigha thumb

AML: "I didn't know how we were going to manage"

In addition to her blood cancer diagnosis, Aleigha was faced with the daunting task of relocating her family from Darkan to Perth.

Find out more

Janette Elson

Amyloidosis and myeloma: Diagnosed day before 66th birthday

Janette Elson was living a happy life in a sleepy beachside haven near Bundaberg when life took an unexpected turn.

Find out more

India Pappas in hospital

A family's worst fears confirmed on Christmas Day

No 4-year-old should spend Christmas Day in an emergency ward.

Find out more

Richard and Heinke Butt hiking in South America

After leukaemia: I look at life through different eyes

While on a quiet camping holiday, Richard received a surprise phone call from his GP that would change his life forever.

Find out more

Ashely McCarthy and daughter Amelia

Leukaemia: diagnosed four days before Christmas

Ashley’s three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with ALL just days before Christmas.

Find out more

Lynn and Darrin Simpson

Caring for my 40-year-old son with blood cancer

Lynn can offer a unique perspective on blood cancer that most carers don’t experience.

Find out more


Leukaemia: Mackenzie's story

Mackenzie began a brave struggle with blood cancer aged just five.

Find out more

Doug McLaughlan

Myeloma: My life became more precious to me

“I knew nothing about myeloma – I had no idea what it was.”

Find out more

Alan Mackay-Sim

Myeloma: I am ready to enjoy each day more

In a bizarre twist of fate, one of Australia’s leading stem cell researchers had to have a transplant of his own.

Find out more

Nigel Harbach and family

From stuntman to stem cells

Nigel was working as a stuntman on the set of “The Matrix” when a routine blood test turned his action-packed life upside down.

Find out more

Chris and Mary Davis

I've beaten a heart attack and CML

Since Chris’ CML diagnosis, he’s had three different treatments, endured debilitating side-effects, and has taken part in an international clinical trial.

Find out more


Leukaemia: It changed everything

For Earlene and her family, it felt like, “A punch in the face. It came from nowhere”.

Find out more

Amy and Brett

From blood cancer to Blood Buddy

At 28, Amy was a healthy and outdoor-loving girl; a volunteer fire fighter who also competed in her local dressage championships.

Find out more

Leukaemia: Superhero Bayley is beating the blood cancer bad guy

In 2014, the McKinnon’s lives took a dramatic turn with the news their six-year-old son, Bayley, had leukaemia.

Find out more

Lyn Chiozzini

Growing stronger but taking nothing for granted

Lyn Chiozzini’s leukaemia diagnosis meant leaving behind loved ones for months of treatment.

Find out more

Lesley Royle

MPN: I wouldn’t change life for quids

Lesley Royle has been dealing with an MPN diagnosis for 22 years.

Find out more

Jennifer, Will and Sean Wright

Hakuna Matata: Will’s philosophy

Christmas Day: while most people were opening presents and relaxing with family, five-year-old Will was about to undergo a stem cell transplant.

Find out more

Jess Sampson

Leukaemia: I was a 15-year-old fighting for my life

Jess was halfway through Year 11 and enjoying life as a teenager when she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Find out more

Perry Judd

I wanted to let my story help others

Brisbane dad Perry Judd jumped at the chance “to play a part in making someone’s journey a little bit easier”, and became a Blood Buddy.

Find out more

Dr John Rogers and Margot

Leukaemia: From clinical trial to remission

Dr John Rogers is one of the first Australians with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) to successfully stop treatment on a venetoclax clinical trial.

Find out more

Daniela and her lymphoma story

Daniela is back on her feet after blood cancer

Daniela was just 24 and had recently immigrated to Australia from Slovakia before she was diagnosed with lymphoma. 

Find out more

Dan Hartley thumbnail

Dan Hartley: We couldn't have got through the past year without you

Dan (28), from Launceston, Tasmania, experienced over three months of chronic pain and fatigue leading up to a shocking leukaemia diagnosis.

Find out more

Chloe & family say "Thank you"

A massive thank you to everyone who so generously supported rural and regional families staying in Leukaemia Foundation accommodation this Christmas. 

Find out more

Lymphoma: My worst and best experience

“Cancer has been a journey I’ll never forget. The shortest and yet the longest year of my life. The worst and best experience.”

Find out more

Myeloma: I had a wig made for my son's wedding

Denyse’s sore back was the first real hint that something wasn’t right.

Find out more

Deyan thumbnail

Deyan's last option

When Deyan Cashmere relapsed in February, following a stem cell transplant, his only option was to go to the U.S. for potentially life-saving immunotherapy.

Find out more

GVHD: Our life is just another version of normal

Blood cancer was a devastating blow for Martin Leicht, but what he’s achieved since is testament to his determination.

Find out more

Des and Jessica

Leukaemia: Two transfusions to make daughter's wedding

Three days before Jessica’s wedding, her dad was hospitalised. But Des was determined to walk his daughter down the aisle.

Find out more

Myeloma: I thought I'd never see Dad again

Doctors told Michael to ‘get his affairs in order’ and prepare for the possibility of not making it to Christmas.

Find out more

Nicole Cane, diagnosed with myeloma at 25

Myeloma at 25

The average diagnosis age is 70, so Nicole’s not your average patient.

Find out more

Lymphoma: Shock at cancer covering windpipe

It has been a difficult journey for Jessica Harbridge, who was diagnosed with T lymphoblastic lymphoma, a rare blood cancer.

Find out more

Leukaemia: Josh 'hit cancer on the head' to get family home

Three years after starting treatment for leukaemia, Josh Sullivan is back to working the family farm.

Find out more

HLH: Kai's courageous battle with rare disorder

At only two years old, Kai was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

Find out more

Lizzie Stephens

Childhood leukaemia: Lizzie’s still laughing despite battle

Lizzie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia a month before her second birthday.

Find out more

Brendan Wessely

Leukaemia: The doctor rang me and said, "I'm sorry"

Brendan didn’t know anything about blood cancer when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Find out more


Leukaemia: My world was turned upside down

“I was a fit 23-year-old working in the mines when I was told I had acute promyelocytic leukaemia.”

Find out more

Peter Carr

Waldenstrom’s: I've learned as much as possible about my illness

Peter is very involved with WMozzies, an online support group for patients with Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinaemia.

Find out more

Jack Ryan's acute lymphoblastic leukaemia story

Leukaemia: I felt like I was having a bad dream

Jack’s parents found out four days before Christmas that he had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Find out more

Maggie Coppin successful battled acute myeloid luekaemia

Leukaemia: She was only six hours old

“We found out Maggie had acute myeloid leukaemia six hours after she was born.”

Find out more

Marnie Mathews

Lymphoma: I am now a happier, more fulfilled person

After completing her Hodgkin lymphoma treatment, Marnie dealt with many issues that are common among survivors.

Find out more

Clynton Corbet

Leukaemia: Our world came to a grinding halt

Father of three Clynton was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and needed a stem cell transplant.

Find out more

Bronte Hutchinson

Leukaemia: I am a survivor

Hours after she was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia, Bronte was flown to Brisbane to begin treatment.

Find out more

Mark Aitken

Myeloma: There is a light at the end of the tunnel

After tests shows that Mark’s kidneys were failing, he was diagnosed with myeloma.

Find out more

Julie Allen

Lymphoma: Challenges bring moments for growth and learning

After experiencing many typical symptoms, Julie was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Find out more

David Birchenough

Amyloidosis: I wondered whether I would die

“Further tests and a renal biopsy finally identified AL amyloidosis affecting my heart and kidneys.”

Find out more

Sharon Hazel

Leukaemia: Set mini goals every day

A visit to the doctor for a routine appointment led Sharon to be diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Find out more

Dean Fowler

Leukaemia: Family and my doctor's support got me through it

Dean’s acute myeloid leukaemia was found after he had a bone marrow aspirate test.

Find out more