Originally published for Brink, a publication distributed monthly in The Sydney Morning Herald, by the University of Technology, Sydney.
Life for the Ledwith family was turned upside down on the long weekend of June 2012. Hours after attending the emergency department at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead with their older son, Thomas, then three, Melinda and Gregg Ledwith were in the midst of a medical drama that would dominate their lives for the next two years.
Thomas was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer, and went straight from the emergency department to the children’s cancer ward. Thomas was an inpatient for a fortnight while he began his long painful slog through chemotherapy. His treatment included inpatient and outpatient stays at the hospital for the next nine months, followed by 11 months of oral chemotherapy at home.