In July 2015, four and a half year old Amber had woken up from her sleep complaining of a sore stomach – which was very out of ordinary for her as she always sleeps right through the night.

The next day she was still not well and sore in her stomach, so her parents Peter and Sarah decided to take her to their closest hospital (in Gosford) to get her checked out. Once there, she was given some medicine and started to feel better however, she still needed to go for further tests to get to the bottom of her concerns.

Amber with her sister in hospitalAfter getting a scan on her stomach it was made apparent that Amber was very unwell. The radiologist had seen scans like hers before and believed she had the rare childhood cancer, neuroblastoma.

At the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Amber underwent a mass of tests, ultrasounds and surgery with the results confirming Peter and Sarah’s fears – their precious little girl had stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma.

Amber immediately commenced treatment, which consisted of chemotherapy every 10 days for 70 days. Initial tests after this time had showed improvement, however more still needed to be done. Since then Amber has undergone further rounds of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and a stem cell transplant.

She went on to undergo autoimmune therapy – a very painful and intense treatment that unfortunately needed to be continued for the next 5 – 6 months to help diminish Amber’s aggressive cancer.

Amber’s father Peter says that they have been very lucky to have such great support from their families as it allowed them to give everything they had to support their beautiful daughter through this difficult time.
There is a lot more to this situation than just having a sick child. Before this happened to us, I would hear the story of another child with cancer going through a rough time, but never really understood what it meant for the parents or siblings of that child and what they go through too. Peter, Amber's Dad

Peter is now more aware that on top of his daughter’s illness and the day to day juggling of appointments and treatments, there are many additional pressures to manage such as financial and relationship stress and depressed periods for all concerned. 

In May 2017 Amber unfortunately relapsed, and v
ery sadly Amber passed away on April 18, 2018.
Research into treatments for neuroblastoma is vital to help save the lives of children diagnosed with this devastating disease. Find out more about the importance of the research here.