IT was supposed to be a new beginning, but instead Brad and Erika Harrison are helping their two-year-old Ava fight against the cancer ravaging her blood stream.
They became a couple 17 years ago and on April 21, in 2015, became a family when Ava was born.
“It was absolutely the most joyous day of our lives,” Mr Harrison said.
After living in Mandurah for more than 15 years the couple decided to return to Erika’s hometown in Queensland so Ava could grow up with her cousins.
“Ava had been sick for a month or so but her GP just said she had a chest infection and sent us home with meds to take,” Mr Harrison said.
“It wasn’t until we just took her to the hospital and they took bloods that we found out.
“Ava has acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, it’s cancer in her blood basically.
“The moment they told me, I had a panic attack, I couldn’t breath and we bawled our eyes out for days.”
Right now, the family are effectively homeless, they are living at Ronald McDonald house.
They sold their furniture and rented out their home in preparation for the move to Queensland.
“Ava is having intense treatment right now and has spent 10 days in hospital already and started chemotherapy,” Mr Harrison said.
“The treatment will be ongoing for the next three years.
“It’s really draining on her body and she hasn’t walked for the last five days from being so tired.”
Mr Harrison said Ava’s diagnosis was soul destroying.
“We are only just starting to get out heads around it all and have realised how much our life has just been flipped upside,” he said.
“Our little Ava will need twenty-four-seven care now and needs copious amounts of daily meds.
“She also needs to be taken into Princess Margaret Hospital every Tuesday and Friday for day treatments.
“Then when she gets a high temperature we have to race her in where she’ll have to stay for a minimum of two days.”
Mr Harrison said for Ava they will work their “arses off to make sure she gets better”.
The family have turned to Go Fund Me to assist with the financial burden associated with the unexpected turn their lives has taken.
“We are shocked in regard to the support we are getting from our friends and family,” Mr Harrison said.
“We can’t express how much it helps right now because for us our focus has been on Ava.
“The real world is still moving and going on, but for us our focus has been on Ava, we have no idea about anything outside the walls of the hospital.
“It’s now all about her. So whatever support we have received whether it be emotional, physical, money or just cuddles, all of it has been very gratefully received.”
Visit https://www.gofundme.com/avas-leukaemia-battle to donate.