Patient stories | Leukaemia Foundation

Patient stories

Inspiring videos

Patients share their stories and experiences with blood cancer.

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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.

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Brendan Hodda and family

Leukaemia: It was like going through the four seasons

Brendan was diagnosed with AML just days before his 40th birthday.

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Jocelyn and her three girls after being discharged from ICU

Third trimester blood cancer diagnosis rocks young family

Andrew and Jocelyn Raunjak were preparing for the arrival of their third baby when their world was turned upside-down by a rare blood cancer affecting less than 100 Aussies each year.

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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.”

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Leukaemia: "It took me to the edge and brought me back"

Three hours after presenting to his doctor with a sinus infection, Shane was on a flight from Gladstone to Brisbane and diagnosed with AML.

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Samantha Mitchell tells of her experience with skin lymphoma

Skin lymphoma: the first doctor told me it was eczema

Samantha Mitchell shares her experience living with cutaneous lymphoma, a rare and specific type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) where the disease manifests predominantly in the skin.

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Sarah Fazulla with her daughter, Blair

I was a new mum with blood cancer

This year’s will be Sarah’s second Mother’s Day – but the first she’ll be celebrating cancer free.

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Anthony Arden

Lymphoma: "It was a shock"

“It was a shock, but you have to deal with things now, you have to be positive in this or the cancer wins.”

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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.”

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Leukaemia: Facing the challenges and fighting back

Jane’s was no longer a normal family charging through life.

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The Nott Family

Dear Blood Cancer...

The Nott family share their letter to blood cancer to mark World Blood Cancer Day.

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In remission after seeking second opinion

Carole Bartlett chose not to ‘watch and wait’, after being diagnosed with a blood disease.

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Ashley Warne tells her story

Lymphoma: I'm now grateful for each moment

Ash was a new 26-year-old mum when she was diagnosed with blood cancer after the birth of her son.

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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.

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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.

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Leukaemia: "My thoughts were of total disbelief"

Judi was diagnosed with blood cancer when she was 20 years old.

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Amber Walker during treatment

"Every two weeks I need two bags of blood"

The generosity of blood donors has given Amber a lifeline.

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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.

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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.

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Leukaemia: It changed everything

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

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Feeling the physical, emotional and financial effects

John felt a lump on his chest and after investigation was diagnosed with blood cancer.

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Lisa Christie with her son Jackson on his birthday

Lisa Christie shares her stem cell transplant experience

Lisa Christie shares her experience of having a stem cell transplant following her diagnosis of AML.

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Vince O'Donnell and his brother on the beach

Early diagnosis made the difference for Vince

One week before his brother was diagnosed with amyloidosis, Vince discovered he carried the genes that predisposed him to familial amyloidosis polyneuropathy with cardiomyopathy.

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Lyn Chiozzini

Growing stronger but taking nothing for granted

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

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Leukaemia: There was support to help me

John’s wife Laura was suddenly diagnosed with an aggressive and rare type of leukaemia.

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Kristy Pyle

Lymphoma: it's made me value my life

Having cancer has made me really value my life, I don’t take things for granted, I tell those I love that I love them all the time

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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.

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Lymphoma: I had no symptoms at all

June had no symptoms at all when she was diagnosed with lymphoma.

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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. 

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Leukaemia: I relapsed three times.

When Paula was diagnosed with AML, she felt like her “world was falling apart”.

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Lymphoma: "I was ready to end it all"

Jenny has been in remission for 22 years after being told she may have just months to live.

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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.

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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. 

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Lymphoma: My whole life had to be put on hold

Madeleine was just 20 years old when she was diagnosed with blood cancer.

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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.

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Providing a home full of heart

The Nield family were overwhelmed by the kind and thoughtful care provided by the Leukaemia Foundation while seven-year-old son, Rocco, battled Hodgkin lymphoma (HL).

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Leukaemia: Staying positive got me through

Julie was diagnosed with blood cancer and underwent a stem cell transplant a year later after chemotherapy.

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Gavin Hill and family

Gavin's life saved by a perfect stranger: “There was no option B for me…”

Gavin Hill was able to conquer his blood cancer thanks to a fellow Aussie’s generous spirit.

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Lisa and Jaimie McNeil

Asciminib – the best treatment Lisa’s had in 16 years

Lisa McNeil is happy with the delayed decision she made in 2015 to go on a Phase I trial for a new CML drug – asciminib.

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Leukaemia: Emotionally, psychologically, mentally the hardest thing

Dave lost his father to blood cancer in 2014, a little over a month after he was first diagnosed.

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Luci during her transplant

Conquering aplastic anaemia and lymphoma: “I wish I'd known laughter really is the best medicine”

Luci was a healthy 28-year-old when she was diagnosed with a blood disorder – followed shortly by a blood cancer as well.

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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.

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Bronx had blood cancer

Leukaemia: Four months old and fighting two different blood cancers

When bubbly baby Bronx was just four months old his family was told he had a very rare and often deadly blood cancer.

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'Total blinking shock' of leukaemia

Les Sprague thought it was a passing virus but a pathologist rang and told him it could be blood cancer.

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Leukaemia: "I have two healthy sons living full lives"

Koreen’s two sons were both diagnosed with ALL just years apart.

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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.

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Matt on holiday in Canada

HCLv: Matt travels to the other side of the world for his 'miracle drug'

This is my story about my journey with a rare form of blood cancer, Hairy Cell Leukaemia variant (HCLv). It’s had me on the ropes a few times, but for now I’ve got the upper hand and it’s under control.

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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.

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Tegan and her family

CML: "Something wasn't right"

Tegan was just 14 when she was diagnosed with CML.

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Leukaemia: My blood cancer came back

Kristine was told she had a blood cancer after feeling “off” for a couple of weeks.

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Robert on the Kokoda trail

Robert’s battler spirit not only helped him take on the Kokoda trail but also an ALL diagnosis

Robert, 60, has never been one to shy away from a challenge, conquering the Kokoda trail, the Himalayas, as well as a shock acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) diagnosis in 2014.

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Leukaemia: "Everyone is their own person"

After bad headaches whilst travelling, Anthony was diagnosed with AML.

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