THE FAMILY of Birregurra’s Sienna Leeson is staying strong and positive while the 7-year-old fights kidney cancer.
Doctors last month diagnosed Sienna with wilms, a cancer that starts in the kidney, after a family trip to Apollo Bay during the school holidays.
Sienna was away with her parents Claire and Chris and brothers, Isaac, 5, and Flynn, 19 months, when she became lethargic and started to complain about a stomach ache.
Claire said she noticed Sienna had a swollen stomach and decided to take her to the doctors at Birregurra on April 4.
She said the doctor told them to go straight to the Geelong Hospital where she spent a night before staff transferred her to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne during the morning on April 5.
“They told us straight away it was cancer, but they needed to do biopsies and more tests to determine what sort and then what the plan of attack is after that,” she said.
Sienna’s cancer started in her left kidney and has spread to her right kidney and her liver.
Claire said Sienna would receive six weeks of chemotherapy before having surgery to remove her left kidney.
She said the doctors would plan Sienna’s future treatment after the surgery.
Claire said it was hard to find words to describe how it felt hearing the diagnosis, and the family was “devastated”, but knew it was important to stay strong and positive for Sienna.
She said Sienna was doing well but it was difficult for her to understand what was going on.
“She’s going really well, she has her up days and down days when she’s thinking about what’s she’s missing out on.
“She walked in there healthy basically, according to her, other than a sore tummy, and then all of this happened.”
Claire said support from hospital staff as well as from family and friends in the Colac and Birregurra communities had also helped the family.
“The support from the Colac and Birregurra community for our family has been absolutely amazing,” she said.
“Obviously everyone who has been contacting us has really helped having those people offering support.”
Family and friends of the Leesons have organised a Family Fun Day on July 3 to raise money for the family as they support Sienna through her battle with cancer.
The fun day will be from 11am until 3pm at the Colac Football Club and people can find out more information at the Support Sienna Facebook page.