Youngsters out in front

TWO Baldivis children who have benefited from the world-class treatment and care at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) will lead thousands in a walk to raise funds for the children�s hospital.

Jessica Jackson (10) and Jaxon Fleming (5), both from Baldivis, have been named as this year�s young event ambassadors for the John Hughes Big Walk, which fundraises to help children who are cared for at PMH.

The brave young pair have both spent significant periods in the hospital, especially Jaxon, who was diagnosed with a cancerous Wilm�s tumour on his right kidney in 2010 when only six months old.

After surgery and rigorous treatment, Jaxon was given the all clear but his cancer return in December, as well as a Wilm�s tumour on his left kidney.

Walking alongside Jaxon will be 10-year-old Jessica, who was born four weeks prematurely in a critical condition, which required immediate transfer to PMH.

Jessica was born with craniosynostosis, a premature fusion of the skull bones, as well as a cleft palate, mild hearing loss and a range of other physical abnormalities.

She underwent the first of her many surgeries when she was just four weeks old, and has since had operations to reconstruct her skull and fit a shunt to drain fluid from her brain, correct her cleft palate and three sets of grommets in her ears.

�Since day one Jessica has been cared for at PMH and the team there are just amazing,� her mum Heidi McNair said.

�Jessica still has hearing aids, daily growth hormone injections because she is very small for her age, and potentially more surgery to come but despite her harrowing and difficult journey, she remains the bravest, happiest and most outgoing child I know.�

Ms McNair said her daughter was �really excited� to be the ambassador for the walk, and along with Jaxon�s mum Gabby, encouraged people to join the walk to help fundraise for the various wards at the hospital.

�Jaxon is doing really well now, and hopefully we�ll have the all clear when he finishes chemotherapy in October,� Mrs Fleming said.

�He�s very shy but he makes jokes with the nurses at PMH who are wonderful and help bring him out of his shell, which makes a world of difference.�

The walk is in its 20th year, however this year is the first time participants can choose which of the 11 different areas at PMH their fundraising efforts are directed.

Registrations are now open for the November 8 event. For more information or to register visit www.bigwalk.com.au.