Give Kaylee hope this Christmas
Hope starts with you.
This Christmas, your generosity can restore hope to children like Kaylee, through the power of a wish.
You have the power to give back to children everything that a critical illness has taken away – their childhood, their happiness, their hope.
A dark cloud over the future
Kaylee is ten years old. But if you were to meet her, you'd think that she's much younger.
"She's teeny tiny compared to other kids her age," says her mum Alana. And there's a heartbreaking reason why Kaylee looks so fragile.
While other children in her class were growing and developing, she has spent the past two years in and out of hospital - having treatment for a nasty type of blood cancer.
Just before Kaylee's eighth birthday, her family received the news that cast a dark cloud over the future.
"When Kaylee was diagnosed, everything else was put on hold. We just focused on her survival. Blood cancer has literally paused her childhood - the treatment even affected her growth."
"She's our little ray of sunshine," says Alana. "Her biggest love is dancing, and she can't stay still - even when she's making a sandwich, she's bopping around. So when she got really tired and slept for hours, we know that something was wrong."
A little ray of sunshine
Kaylee started looking pale, then yellow. Her legs were painfully sore. Alana took her to the doctor, who sent them to the nearest hospital. They rushed there with Ryan, Kaylee's dad.
"She had some blood tests and before we knew it, we were whisked off to a private little room. That's when my heart sunk. The doctor came in and said, 'your daughter has blood cancer'."
Alana and Ryan were utterly devastated. Their little girl had her whole life ahead of her. She had so much sunshine to bring to the world. But their hopes for the future were put on hold - just like everything else in their lives.
Going to school, having fun and playing games, just being a kid and growing up healthily - all this stops when a child has a critical illness. And for Kaylee, blood cancer meant that she lost the chance to do something else, to go on a snowy adventure in the mountains.
"Kaylee loves having adventures and she's never seen the snow. So we planned a family trip to the mountains. We even got cute little snowsuits for Kaylee and her two younger brothers, Nate and Van. But we've never used them. After the diagnosis, we had to cancel the trip."
Kaylee desperately needed some hope to hold onto during her treatment.
It was brutal from the start. She went straight into the most intensive chemotherapy. It made her beautiful hair fall out and took a terrible toll on her little bodyAlana Kaylee's mum
Months of treatment
"Nurses called her 'the side effect kid' - because if there was a rare side effect from the treatment, she would get it. One time her lungs filled up with fluid and she struggled to breathe, so she almost ended up in intensive care."
"It turned out she had a genetic mutation that made her blood cancer harder to treat. Three rounds of chemotherapy weren't enough - she needed a bone marrow transplant."
This was her last chance. Every day became precious - because Kaylee's family didn't know how long they had left with her. And cruelly, they were forced to spend this time apart.
Kaylee moved to Sydney for the bone marrow transplant with her mum and dad - while her brothers stayed at home with their grandparents. "Kaylee and Nate have a very close relationship," says Alana. "But they were forced to be apart for months. It was so sad."
Hope starts with you this Christmas
Please make a tax-deductible donation this Christmas and help make wishes come true for children like Kaylee
Kaylee is desperate to see the snow for the first time. She's such a little daredevil. She can't wait to take the ski lift to the top of a mountain and go all the way down skiing and tobogganingAlana Kaylee's mum
The power of a wish
Kaylee's wish has helped restore her hope.
She can't wait to get out onto the slopes and have fun.
"She's also excited about all the hot chocolate. And her favourite Disney film is Frozen, so she wants to make a snowman like Olaf - a character from the film."
"Just thinking about the wish has made Kaylee happier and stronger. It's like the prize waiting at the end of her treatment. When she's going into a scary procedure, we always say, 'remember, if you get through this, you can go to the snow..."
Kaylee is desperate to go on a snowy adventure. We need to raise funds to help make her wish come true – and the wishes of more of the 800 children currently on their Wish Journey. Please will you help with a special Christmas gift? You have the power to give back children everything that a critical illness has taken away – their childhood, their happiness, their hope.
Kaylee's bone marrow transplant was a success. But the years of treatment have been hard - taking away her happy childhood, putting her through unbearable pain and fear, making her look so small and fragile. And the hardship isn't over yet.
"Kaylee still needs to have check ups in hospital every two months - for the next five years," says Alana. "Our lives haven't gone back to normal. The fear hasn't gone away. We're terrified that she will have a relapse of blood cancer."
I’m crying as I say this… but we wanted a wish because we didn’t know how long we had left with herAlana Kaylee's mum
Hope starts with you
Right now, children like Kaylee need hope more than ever. A critical illness has made everything uncertain and put everything on hold. And the pandemic has caused many wishes to be delayed.
A wish is so vital. It is something to look forward to and get excited about. It restores the hope that a critical illness takes away. And that hope becomes a source of strength, to keep fighting for better days. That's the power of a wish.
You have the power to help children like Kaylee find hope over the Christmas period.
Right now, there are over 800 children like Kaylee on their Wish Journey, counting down the days until their wish is possible. We'd dearly love to share some positive news with these kids this Christmas. Please make a special Christmas gift and help make wishes come true, so critically ill children have a reason to keep hoping.
Make a tax-deductible gift
Every dollar counts this Christmas. Help give hope to kids like Kaylee