Little Danye turned three in January 2020. He has four brothers, one sister, a brave mum and the heart of a lion.

A morning like no other

On Tuesday 17 June 2019 Danye, who was just two at the time, woke up unable to balance himself or walk two steps without falling over. His mum Tatiana rushed him to Emergency. No easy task for a single parent with five other siblings to care for, two of whom have Cystic Fibrosis.
Danye with one of his siblings

An inconclusive CT scan followed

Tatiana, knowing Danye's uncle had a history of reoccurring brain tumours, continued to raise her concerns until they were transported by ambulance to the Brisbane Children's Hospital for an emergency MRI.

My worst fears were realised when they found a 10cm tumor in the right side of his chest cavity, the worst part was that this tumor had grown fingers, putting pressure on the spine and penetrating into the spinal canal where it was continuing to grow.Tatiana - Danye's mum

The treatment journey

The family were introduced to the children's cancer neuroblastoma, that unbeknownst to them was already a big part of their lives, as the tumor would have begun to grow before Danye was even born.

Within a day of being diagnosed with the childhood cancer neuroblastoma, he was in surgery having a PICC (peripherally inserted central) line inserted, and biopsy done. Chemotherapy quickly followed.

Within 24 hrs of diagnosis Danye was in surgery having a PICC line inserted, and a biopsy done. The next night we started chemotherapy.

Two weeks after being diagnosed, Danye lost the ability to walk completely and was rushed for another emergency MRI then straight off to theatre to have the tumor in and around his spine partially removed.

Before the neurosurgeons could get to work, they discovered from the MRI that the thoracic surgeons would need to go in the front first to de-bulk the tumor around Danye's heart so that he could then be safely placed on his stomach for the spinal surgery to take place.

I'm so proud of Danye, his strength, his courage. He amazes me constantly and whenever I'm struggling, I look at him and am quickly reminded of what true strength looks like. Instantly I am re-grounded and our day-by-day journey goes on.
Superhero Danye made it through the surgery.

Six months later he is celebrating his third birthday - running around just like he was before the shocking neuroblastoma symptoms began.
Danye and mum Tatiana

Danye and his family's journey continues. In late 2019 he completed eight planned cycles of chemo.

Although the tumour has shrunk, the danger remained, but Tatiana focused her family on staying positive.

The new year will see a new plan, we pray and we keep positive. I hope by sharing our story we can help raise awareness of this aggressive childhood cancer  

Break in the clouds - Update March 2021

After his first surgery, Danye was on a low-dose chemotherapy for six months, but due to rapid growth of the tumour, he was given a high-dose chemotherapy for another six months.

As a part of his treatment process, Danye received 13 blood transfusions and a stem cell collection. He also underwent multiple medical procedures under general anesthesia. 

All of this did not seem to be enough and we were still not winning the battle. The only chance that Danye had was the approval and success of a surgery for a very high-risk tumor recession in his chest and around his windpipe. This surgery had been knocked back on several occasions due to the high risk associated with it.

Finally, after much discussion, Danye's surgery was approved and took place on 31st July 2020 at the Brisbane Children's Hospital.

I will be forever grateful to both the cardiac and E.N.T teams, who performed the miracle of saving my son.Tatiana - Danye's mum

The surgery went very well and after a short stay of four days in P.I.C.U and two nights in the ward, we were able to go home!

The two MRI and CT scans that Danye has had since the second surgery have been promising. Last week at our specialists review, we spoke about port removal mid-June.

We are beginning to catch-up on all of Danye's immunisations so that he can start Kindy, which he is really excited about, now that my four-year-old is a big boy!

We are lucky and for now we can concentrate on getting back to living normal lives. Danye really is my hero.

If you would like to support children like Danye – find out how you can help children diagnosed with neuroblastoma here.