10-year-old cancer sufferer Amelia a true fighter
THE last thing a parent wants to have to think about as their child faces cancer is money.
But between trips to Brisbane for chemotherapy, countless visits to doctors and specialists that no one wishes to have and the agonising pain of watching your child struggle through nausea and hair loss - the bills continue to stack up.
This time last year, Amelia Perry was focussing on starting Year 5 at Mountain Creek.
Yesterday, the 10-year-old was back in the Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane undergoing more testing on the brain tumour which has developed on the optic nerve attached to an eye.
An optometrist first told Amelia's parents, Elisha and Paul Perry, their daughter's turned eye was not a problem.
Five months later, they noticed it was getting worse so they took her to a different optometrist, who diagnosed optic nerve damage.
They were referred to Caloundra Hospital and an MRI discovered the tumour located in an inoperable position.
The only hope was chemotherapy would help reduce its size.
It's been a journey back and forth to Brisbane for treatments while Amelia's eyesight deteriorated.
The keen netballer has already lost vision in her right eye as well as peripheral vision in the left.
Elisha has taken time off work at Mountain Creek State School to be by her daughter's bedside.
The family may have to rely solely on Paul's income as a transport supervisor, as it is not clear if Amelia will be able to go back to school soon, or when Elisha can return to work.
Amelia decided a month ago she would take the bold step of shaving her head instead of watching her long locks fall out as a result of the chemotherapy.
"She was brushing it and it was coming out so she said she wanted to shave it off," Elisha said.
"It was half way down her back.
"I plaited it for her and Paul shaved it.
"He also shaved his own head (in support) and a friend of ours across the road shaved his head too."
Amelia's class at Mountain Creek has been coming up with innovative ways to help their friend.
Before Christmas, they started selling cupcakes, lolly bags and painting faces and managed to raise $800 in one night.
A fundraiser, One Amelia, was started on OzCrowd so the Sunshine Coast can join her class in easing the family's burden, so they don't have to worry about next month's rent, petrol to and from Brisbane, parking costs, food or the other incidentals that need to be paid.
To learn how you can help Amelia, visit https://oz crowd.com/campaigns/one-amelia/