Mother’s instinct leads to daughter’s leukaemia diagnosis

Belinda FrancisIn June 2013 Cairns mum Belinda Francis was doing what any mother would do for their child, care for them when they’re sick.

“Charli seemed to have symptoms of a virus – high temperatures, lethargic and not eating very much – a fairly normal thing that kids pick up at day care,” Belinda said.

“However I decided to take her to the GP when she complained of a sore mouth and I discovered a blister on her tongue,” she said.

“The doctor told me Charli was anaemic from the colour of her eyes and skin and that I should rinse her mouth with salt water to treat the blister and give her an iron supplement.”

But the next day Belinda felt something wasn’t right.

“I returned to the doctor and insited on blood tests,” she said.

“Within an hour I was told that our precious Charli had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. I’m so glad I followed my instict.”

Cancer treatment and support

Two-year-old Charli and her Dad, Steven, were flown to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane the morning after her diagnosis with the family having to make rushed arrangements to be by her side.

“It was so hard for the whole family as we were separated by 1700 kilometres,” Belinda said.

After joining Steven and Charli in Brisbane, Belinda and her family were offered accommodation and support from the Leukaemia Foundation.

“We jumped at the chance to stay at Clem Jones – Sunland Village,” she said.

“It was amazing.

“It blows me away to think that all of our accomodation was fully paid for with donations from the community.

“I don’t know how we would have coped without the help of the Leukaemia Foundation. Our horrifying journey would have been even more stressful without the emotional and financial support we received.”

Belinda recently shaved her long hair for the World’s Greatest Shave raising an amazing $12,000.

“I wanted to give back to the Leukaemia Foundation to say thank you for supporting my family through our experience,” Belinda said.

Charli will finish treatment in September and Belinda said the family is looking forward to returning to a sense of normality.

“It has been hard watching our little girl go through treatment but Charli has been amazingly strong and is kicking cancer’s butt.”

Help beat blood cancer

Support blood cancer patients and families like Charli’s by making a donation today. Your generosity helps the Leukaemia Foundation help those who need it the most through free support services and investing in research to find better treatments and work towards a cure.

Charli’s story first appeared in Leukaemia News, our newsletter for all those affected by leukaemia. Subscribe today and receive Leukaemia News straight to your inbox.

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