Willetton High School student Caitlin Garrett was just 14 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer on January 10 last year.
Doctors found a tumour the size of a rockmelon in her pelvic area that had metastasised to her hipbone and lungs ” she had Ewing’s Sarcoma.
‘When I found out I had cancer, it was like I was in a nightmare,’ Caitlin said.
‘I didn’t quite believe what they were saying was real. This doesn’t happen to me, I didn’t want to die.’
What followed was a year of hospital visits, chemotherapy and operations.
Caitlin has undergone 18 rounds of chemotherapy, 21 bouts of radiation and recently had a stem cell transplant, spending most of her time at Princess Margaret Hospital.
‘The hardest thing would have to be not being able to be a normal teenage girl. Being away from my friends and family,’ she said.
‘Also seeing good friends lose their battle ” that’s the hardest.’
Finding out her only daughter had cancer was something Caitlin’s mother, Michelle Garrett, said she would not wish upon anyone.
‘I’m a parent of a child who was happy, healthy, playing sport, a 14-year-old girl playing with her friends and then all of a sudden she gets a bit of lower back pain and then months later we find out she’s got cancer,’ Ms Garrett said.
‘It’s not something you think would ever happen to you and you didn’t realise existed ” it’s a whole different world here, it completely floors you.’
By sharing Caitlin’s story, the mother of two is hoping to raise awareness about childhood cancer and the importance of donating blood.
She has started a facebook page called Caitlin’s Journey, which has more than 1200 likes.
Caitlin is helping organise a ball to raise funds for Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation.
How you can help
The family has set up a bank account
where you can help Caitlin on her
journey to recovery.
The account details are:
BSB number: 923100
Account number: 74523661