At age two Mia Pearce was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and after many year's of intensive treatment, she is now in remission and giving back to other sick children through the 2022 Nine Telethon.
Here's her inspiring story:
When Bundaberg dad Ryan Pearce put together a ‘Dad’s Day Out’ fundraiser for Children’s Hospital Foundation last year, he never imagined it would lead to an $8000 donation to help work wonders for sick kids.
Inspired by the journey of his daughter, Mia, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was just two years old, Ryan wanted to give back to the hospital that supported their family through the battle.
Mia was experiencing ankle pain and began limping, and after ultrasounds and X-rays showed no injury, her family GP sent them to their local emergency department for an urgent full blood count.
Upon diagnosis, Mia and her family were transferred to Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and had to stay there for 10 months while she underwent intensive treatment as her cancer was deemed as high risk.
In total, Mia underwent three-and-a-half years of treatment, during which time she underwent countless chemotherapy injections, four bone marrow aspirations, further at-home and oral chemotherapy, hundreds of doses of oral steroids, six surgeries, 15 emergency hospital admissions, used countless bags of donor blood and underwent more blood tests than her parents, Rhianne and Ryan, could ever hope to count.
“When we first arrived at hospital, we were so scared and confused – our world had collapsed,” Rhianne said.
“Mia is now in remission, but we have lived in fear of her relapsing every day, noticing bruises on her, or overthinking every day she seems fatigued or pale. Our hearts race every time she spikes a fever.
“Despite it all, the best experiences in hospital were always with Children’s Hospital Foundation, from the oncology volunteers to the bedside play volunteers – we cannot thank them enough for the happiness they brought to our little girl. Their kindness still brings tears to my eyes.”
Ryan hosted the fundraiser in September of last year, encouraging dads to head to the pub, donning their daggiest dad attire in the name of a good cause.
Mia and her family are now sharing their story even wider to help other sick kids and encourage locals to donate to the 2022 Nine Telethon in support of the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
In the past year, more than 925 admissions to the Queensland Children’s Hospital were children from the Wide Bay region.
Children’s Hospital Foundation Acting Chief Executive Officer, Olivia Jary, said money raised through Nine Telethon would fund vital medical research, life-saving medical equipment, and patient and family-support services at the Queensland Children’s Hospital for sick kids and their families across Queensland and Northern New South Wales.
“Every single donation, no matter the size, helps us work wonders for sick kids just like Mia,” Ms Jary said.
“It’s never easy having a seriously ill or injured child, and that can sometimes be made harder for those living in regional areas, who have to travel long distances for treatment and medical appointments.
“Telethon gives us the opportunity to help families get back on their feet through the funding of ground-breaking research, state-of-the-art equipment, and patient and family support at Queensland Children’s Hospital.”
To donate to the Nine Telethon, visit 9telethon.com.au or call 1800 909 900.
Tune in to the Nine Telethon at 7pm on Saturday, 23 April for more inspiring stories like Mia’s.
Telethon will be broadcast live from the Queensland Children’s Hospital, and the Telethon Concert at Fortitude Valley Music Hall on Channel Nine and 9Now.