Loving aunty Ranelle Jackson has set up a fundraiser in an effort to get her nephew through six months of weekly chemotherapy – and she’s hoping to see the local community get behind him.
Nine-year-old Jordan Springs resident Casey Cameron has hypotonic cerebral palsy with low muscle tone – a condition which has made it difficult to put on weight and muscle. He also has a global developmental delay and is on the spectrum with autism, as well as being vision impaired in one eye.
Up to this point, Jackson said his development has been slow but steady, with the help of a variety of different therapies, including speech, physical and social.
However, a month ago, everything changed, as Casey was diagnosed with leukaemia, causing additional challenges for both him and his family.
“As it stands now, he has just the blood cancer, but each week at the moment they’re putting him under anesthetic and checking his brain as well, and giving him a shot of chemo into his spine as a preventative,” she said.
“He’s just taken it all in his stride. He’s just such a gorgeous little kid.”
Jackson started a GoFundMe on behalf of her brother Mat Cameron – Casey’s father who shares custody of him and his two siblings, as well as working full-time.
After the shock diagnosis, Jackson said she was desperate to help in any way possible.
“I just wanted to have something there for him and the kids just as a buffer, so they didn’t have to worry as much, even if it’s just an electricity bill, or putting fuel in the car to get to the hospital, or paying for extra time at after school care,” she said.
“I didn’t know what to do. When I found out, I was in disbelief, and because I’m five hours away, I figured this was something I could do from here.”
So far, the GoFundMe has raised almost $2000, accumulating funds from friends of the family, and many people completely unknown to them.
“There have been some really generous donations, and it just gives you such a good feeling knowing that there’s people out there who care,” she said.
However, she said she’s hoping to see more support flow in in any way possible, including donations to the Leukaemia Foundation.
“It’s going to be 12 months of chemo, and he can’t go back to school for 18 months because his immune system isn’t strong enough to handle that, so any support is welcome,” she said.
“My cousin is actually shaving off his dreadlocks that he’s grown for 17 years to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation, so as a family we’re all coming together and doing our bit. My brother was just so grateful for me and my cousin doing anything we could.”
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/casey-and-his-family-fight-leukaemia.
Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.