Jacinta Crawley and her daughter Alexis Burnie-Crawley are urging local residents to donate to the Children's Hospital Foundation Telethon. Alexis is a cancer survivor who had a kidney removed to save her life.
Jacinta Crawley and her daughter Alexis Burnie-Crawley are urging local residents to donate to the Children's Hospital Foundation Telethon. Alexis is a cancer survivor who had a kidney removed to save her life. Cordell Richardson

Alexis refused to give up the tough fight for her life

IPSWICH lass Alexis Burnie-Crawley has given cancer the flick.

The nine-year-old had a kidney removed after she was diagnosed with Wilms tumour a couple of years ago.

"She was really healthy and was at the doctor for another issue when they found the tumour in her kidney," Jacinta Crawley recalled.

"One minute I was picking her up from school and the next minute we were at Queensland Children's Hospital with no idea what was going on."

"She didn't feel sick, she didn't look sick."

Two days after arriving at the hospital, surgeons removed the kidney and the tumour.

While this surgery was straightforward, Alexis had life-threatening complications including a collapsed lung.

When she recovered, Alexis started nine months of chemotherapy that ended in December 2016.

"She struggled a lot on the chemo," Jacinta said.

"She went from being a really happy kid to not liking anyone or anything - she was down, she was missing out on school because her immune system was suppressed.

"She was also diagnosed with PTSD."

Life is slowly getting back to normal for Alexis.

She is back at school and loving spending time with her friends.

The cancer has not returned, but the youngster goes back to QCH every three months for more tests to make sure she is on the path to recovery.

Throughout her time at QCH, Alexis enjoyed the many Children's Hospital Foundation services.

These include Juiced TV, where children host the show and interview celebrities; Cuddle Carers; music, pet, bedside play and other therapy programs; and the Book Bunker library.

"She was miserable and sick of seeing me all the time so having volunteers take the time and patience to try and make her feel better was important," Jacinta said.

"They were really good with her - it was just all of the little things that they did that made the difference."

The Channel Nine Telethon is the Children's Hospital Foundation's key fundraiser.

As well as supporting patients at QCH, money raised during the telethon pays for vital medical equipment, research and a range of medical services at QCH and throughout regional Queensland and Northern NSW.

The foundation hopes to raise more than $12 million when Queenslanders tune into the telethon on the Nine Network on November 17.

Donations can also be made at participating Woolworths, Big W and Bank of Queensland outlets.

Details: 9telethon.com.au

The inflight technology saving young lives

IF your child becomes critically ill, there is a chance their life might be saved by technology partially funded by community donations.

The Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine is a significant piece of equipment that takes over the function of the heart and lungs while a child's body is fighting an illness or struggling with an injury.

The ECMO at Queensland Children's Hospital has saved the lives of more than 200 children from as far north as Cooktown, west to Mt Isa and south to the Gold Coast. 

The Children's Hospital Foundation has commissioned a special portable version of the ECMO - known as a "sled".

Money raised during last year's Channel Nine Telethon helped pay for the first Australian portable unit, one that can go in an aircraft, foundation CEO Rosie Simpson said.

"Close to half the children that come into Queensland Children's Hospital are from regional areas - which is why we fund innovative equipment," she said.

"The ECMO sled is equivalent to an intensive care unit but it is mobile.

"We are bringing all the technology and expertise to the patient." 

-NewsRegional

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Queensland Children's Hospital treated about 13,000 inpatients from regional Queensland and northern NSW over the past year.
  • The Children's Hospital Foundation provides a range of support services for sick children and young people attending QCH and hospitals across Queensland.
  • About $1.7 million of CHF funds has been invested in regional pediatric wards.
  • More than 42 per cent of children visiting hospitals in Brisbane come from regional areas and many of these are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in Queensland.