'It will never end for him', but William marches for hope
THOSE of us that are parents know the feeling of anguish when our babies and small children fall victim to usual childhood ailments.
There is nothing harder for parents than to watch their child suffer.
For one Gympie family, their worries were exponentially intensified when their two-year-old baby son was diagnosed with cancer over a decade ago.
William Robson, now a 14-year-old St Patrick's College student is determined to translate his early fight for life into a fight to cure cancer.
"We were living up in Darwin and he (William) got an urinary tract infection," said William's mother Leanne.
"He was less than two and a half years old," she said.
"They (doctors) were convinced it wasn't cancer.
"He went back for a lot of tests and eventually an ultra-sound and there were two lumps on his kidney, and within three weeks a third major lump had appeared.
"More tests, then more scans, and they decided to send us to the Royal Children's hospital in Brisbane to have a biopsy done.
"It came back that he had a form of kidney cancer that affects children under the age of six."
William then faced the harrowing ordeal of surgery where he had a kidney and adrenal gland removed before starting chemotherapy.
William battled through the disease until he was ten-years-old, finally entering remission after almost a decade of fighting.
The Chinese proverb says a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and yesterday, the participants in Gympie's relay for life, including William stepped out on their thousand mile journey towards a cure for childhood and other cancers.
On the Sunshine Coast alone, around 3190 people are diagnosed with cancer each year, sadly 982 of those will die from the disease.
One in two Queenslander's will be affected by cancer in their lifetime.
That includes 26,000 that will be diagnosed this year with a staggering 8000 losing their lives.
The Gympie relay is hoping to raise $150,000 this year and has so far totalled over $125,000.
The much needed funds will go towards vital patient support programs as well as accommodation facilities for those travelling for treatment.
Funds that Leanne Robson says are a god send to families in their time of need.
"It is things like Relay For Life that gets it (the message) out there.
"It is a tough struggle, and it is never ending.
"It will never end for him.
"He (William) will always have check-ups every 12 months."