News

Brave Ben's cancer battle

Benjamin Jessen, aged 1 at the time of the main photograph, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on August 16 and, inset, Benjamin (now 2) in hospital.
Benjamin Jessen, aged 1 at the time of the main photograph, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on August 16 and, inset, Benjamin (now 2) in hospital. Brenda Strong

BENJAMIN Jessen seems like any other 2-year-old boy to the outside world.

Happy and full of energy, he doesn't look like a cancer patient.

His mother Renee Jessen, of Gladstone, said it's hard to believe her son is sick.

"It hasn't slowed him down at all," she said.

"I'm chasing after him with the IV.

"He is blissfully ignorant I think."

She never imagined a few bruises on her son's legs would lead to this.

"At first I thought nothing of it," she said.

"I mean what 2-year-old boy isn't covered in dirt, snot and bruises?

"But the bruising got darker and even the slightest touch would bruise his skin."

On August 16 "paranoid first-time mother kicked in" so Renee took her son to a Gladstone doctor to have some bruises on Ben's legs looked at.

Worried it was a genetic blood condition, she insisted he undergo a blood test.

"I assumed that's what it was," she said.

But the results revealed something no parent should ever have to hear. Ben was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"My reaction was nothing short of shock, and then I guess adrenalin kicked in. I've been living off that for the last week while everything sinks in," she said.

On August 17, Renee, her husband Richard and Ben were on a Royal Flying Doctors' plane set for Brisbane.

"We just picked up and left," Renee said.

Ben underwent more tests at the Royal Children's Hospital before it was officially confirmed on August 18.

"It's been a rollercoaster," Renee said.

"But it's slowly starting to sink in."

She said Ben knows he's sick.

"We told him his blood is sick," she said.

He has now begun his first round of chemotherapy.

 

Ben's journey

Procedures he has undergone so far:

Lumbar puncture (to test the spinal/brain fluid for the leukemia)

Bone marrow biopsy (to confirm the diagnosis and check how everything is progressing)

Port-a-cath inserted (so he doesn't need a canula every time they need blood.. They access a small port in his chest)

2 platelet transfusions (to help clotting)

1 red blood transfusion

Daily blood tests

His first round of chemotherapy

 



Hill leads DEX Premier League Team of the Week

Easts batsman Ben Hill during the CRCA match between Easts and Brothers at Ellem Oval on Saturday, 13th February, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

The DEX sports desk reveals its Premier League team of the week.

Big waves, strong winds expected to smash our coastline

Warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology

Clarence Dance studio concerts

The under 8 jazz troupe at the Studio 1 Dance Academy concert

Check out some of the best dancers in town

Local Partners

Harmony takes her next big step

BRAVE Grafton girl Harmony Fielden will undergo another major operation in Sydney's Westmead Hospital to help correct the symptoms of a mystery condition.


How people power stopped the gas mines

Iluka resident and character in the film, Ian Gaillard, addresses the crowd of anti-CSG protesters at Bentley.

Award-winning documentary to be screened in the Clarence Valley

Bored? Here's 9 things to do this weekend

The Clarence Valley Mental Health Fishing Group are holding a Christmas fishing event at Memorial Park.

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Bringing their Magic Mojo to Grafton

MAGIC: Head down to Roches Family Hotel for a brilliant mix of '70s, '80s and '90s music by Magic Mojo, a Coffs Coast band using their experience to give a brilliant performance.

Powerful trio to lift the top off Roches Hotel tonight

Ricky Gervais: There's 'no point' marrying Jane Fallon

RICKY Gervais "doesn't see the point" in marrying Jane Fallon.

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Paris Hilton fumes at clumsy partygoers

A reveller spilt their drink on Paris Hilton's DJ decks

Winnie Harlow isn't a role model

Winnie Harlow insists she isn't a role model.

Felicity Jones proud of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story role

Felicity Jones feels it is "important" for a woman to head Rogue One

Kiwi's plea to Ellen DeGeneres to save bakery after quake

Ellen... we need your magic.

Family had to be helicoptered out after powerful quake

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!