In your life you occasionally come across a book that has a lasting impact; "Kids Don't Get Cancer" is one of those books.

A young Michael in hospitalThe author of this autobiography, Michael Crosslands, was born on 2 May 1984 in a small town called Crossmaglen in NSW.  At 11 months old he was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma. He was given less than 10% chance of survival. 

Michael started chemo treatment on his first birthday and continued for many years, with his mother by his side, but often separated from his father and three sisters who were seven hours away. The treatment was incredibly toxic with shocking side effects. 

Eventually after chemo and surgery his family was told there was nothing else that could be done and Michael Mum Kerry was told to take her little boy home to die.

Just when there was no hope left Michael was offered the last spot in a drug trial for 25 children.  

It was 9am on a Tuesday, and within 24 hours of starting the trial all 25 of us had been transferred from the oncology ward to the burns unit. The after-effects of the drug were so severe that we were literally covered in blisters and burning from the inside out. To try and relieve our pain and the physical damage, the staff would wrap us in bandages, laying us down in baths full of ice to prevent our brains from frying. Sadly i was the only survivor from that drug. My mum had to make a heartbreaking choice — was it worth keeping me on the drug and continuing to see me burned every day? Or was it time to give up and say goodbye? Michael Crosslands

Michael survived the treatment and after many years was finally allowed to go home.  What he has done with his life since is truly inspirational. 

Michael has never forgotten the 24 children who did not make it through that drug trial.  He went on to fulfill his dream of playing baseball in America.....wearing the number 24 on his jersey, playing for the 24 angels who did not make it through that drug test. Michael signs the inside cover of his books with the #24

Michael is currently one of Australia's most sort after inspirational speakers and has truly dedicated his life to making a difference. He has shared the stage with the likes of the Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson and the global phenomenon Tony Robbins.

Tracey and I have chosen to run kilometer 24 for the children who did not make it through the drug trial and their families who continue to grieve for them every day

Kilometre 25 will be inspired by Michael Crossland.Michael Crosslands present day

His book highlights many important truths about childhood cancer that many people don't know.  Sadly, even though Michael's treatment was over 30 years ago little has changed.

  • Kids do get cancer 
  • Kids die from cancer
  • Access to clinical trials can save lives, but there are no guarantees
  • Cancer treatments in large hospitals often mean that families are separated for long periods of time and suffer financial hardship
  • Cancer treatments are extremely toxic with horrific side effects
  • Survivors of childhood cancer face many ongoing serious health issues for the rest of their lives
  • Parents do it extremely tough as they need to approve and watch treatments that cause their child so much suffering, often with no guarantees of success

Importantly after everything Michael went through fighting neuroblastoma he refused to be a victim and he really does treat life as a gift; embracing living and devoting his life to making a positive difference for others. 

I would highly recommend reading his book or heading to his website or facebook page

Thank you,