Family says farewell as Mitchell’s battle comes to end
MITCHELL Luders captured the hearts of Gladstone folk in 2011, when as a nine-year-old he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of neuroblastoma.
But his suffering finally ended when the brave 13-year-old lost his battle to live on Thursday night.
Messages of condolences and tributes flooded the Mitchell's Journey Facebook page, where his parents Rochelle and Michael announced the news.
"He has gone on to his next big adventure, hopefully surrounded by plenty of love and his beloved Pokemon. He fought a courageous battle every day with a smile on his face, never once complaining and he saw the good in everything."
"He was my middle child, my funny, quirky boy and the glue that kept us all together, and I just don't know how we will function without him here.
"So fly high my sweet boy now pain and cancer-free and forever 13," his parents wrote.
Mitchell was diagnosed with one of the rarest forms of childhood cancer on August 31 2011.
Since then his cancer had relapsed four times.
In March this year his family was told the tumour he was battling was due to a rare genetic mutation, meaning he had one of the rarest types of neuroblastoma.
He was the first patient in Queensland to have this type of tumour confirmed.
Since his diagnosis, Mitchell has travelled to Japan to see the Pokemon Centre and graduated primary school.
Mitchell completed his primary schooling at Star of the Sea Gladstone.
Principal Jamie Emerick said he loved the social side of school.
"He was known for his quirky sense of humour. It's devastating news for the family and for Gladstone. It's a small town and people are interconnected ... everyone knows what's happening in everyone else's life and the Luders family has connections with lots of people," he said.
"As a school we're working to support the Luders family and our students as best we can."
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. For more information on how you can donate to help fund research go to cancer.org.au.