Neuroblastoma Awareness Day on 2nd February marks the start of a week-long #2little campaign to highlight the lack of funding for childhood cancers and rare toddler cancer neuroblastoma. 

Less than 10% of Government cancer research funding is given to children’s cancer research. Our president Lucy Jones, says this is unacceptable and just #2little, ten years after her own daughter’s loss to the devastating rare cancer which affects babies and toddlers. 

Despite the charity, which she founded in 2010, having contributed over $2.3 million to research into neuroblastoma, more funds are needed to try to pinpoint better and safer treatments for affected children so all children get the chance to grow up and lead a long and healthy life. 

Limited progress has been made in the last decade in targeting these specific high-risk types of cancer in children. We have to invest today in research to find ways of tackling these diseases more effectively.

Neuroblastoma Australia highlights that current treatments do not suit young children. The treatments are far too toxic and are administered over a long period of time often leading to lasting side effects. Typical treatments for high-risk neuroblastoma will take 12 to 18 months. 

Lukas’ story is typical of the treatments young children have to endure.  

Lukas awareness dayLukas was growing up as a happy and super cheeky three-year-old, going to preschool, playing with all his friends and visiting his nanny and poppy’s house. In early July 2019, he suddenly became very unwell; his temperatures were uncontrollable and he was unable to walk. He was in the emergency department in absolute agony. The family felt helpless and then they were given the diagnosis – their boy had neuroblastoma. 

Defined as 'High Risk Neuroblastoma', Lukas started treatment nearly immediately. Lukas underwent gruelling, invasive treatment which included induction chemotherapy, surgery to remove the tumour, a bone marrow transplant, radiation therapy and intensive immunotherapy 

In February 2020, his family were told he was cancer free, but still Lukas had to endure rounds of radiation therapy and immunotherapy to complete his treatment, which finally finished nearly 12 months after his diagnosis.

Lukas on beachLukas is now in remission but continues to have three-monthly scans. His aunty Nell said:We are very aware of risks moving forward and that we need to remain highly vigilant. We are so proud of how Lukas has managed to forge his way through each treatment goal. This is why we call you our warrior. You are a warrior Lukas. We are all so proud of you. We love you.

“Research is so important for any childhood cancer, especially neuroblastoma. With more research we hope to bring up survival rates and have less harsh treatments and less invasive diagnosis testing,” said Lukas' mum Madison. 

In order to raise the profile of the disease, we’re asking people to get involved and either use our Facebook frame or post a photo of themselves as a toddler, with the hashtags #2little and #neuroblastoma. 

Please help us spread awareness – get involved with Neuroblastoma Awareness week.