Kane is one brave little boy
KANE Taylor looks like any other four-year-old boy - but with an endearingly cheeky smile.
He loves his Lego, adores his mum and dad and sisters and has a child's natural naive optimism.
But Kane's life - and the lives of his parents Natasha Rohan and Graham Taylor and their other children Lara, 6, and Ella, 5 - have been changed forever.
"Six weeks ago Kane came to me in bed at night time complaining his legs were sore," Natasha said.
"He's been a healthy little boy. We knew something wasn't right because he was crying in bed so we took him to the hospital. They sent us home; said he was healthy.
"Quite a few trips later they sent us off to the Mater and we discovered he had a tumour sitting in his belly.
"Then they did more extensive tests and found multiple tumours all through his belly and then they found it had progressed into his lymph glands and to his bones - stage four. It's been a terrible six weeks."
Kane's treatment has since been transferred to the Royal Children's Hospital.
Like most parents, Natasha and Graham never thought it would happen to their child. Now they're caught in a whirlwind of medical treatment for their precious boy.
"We're always watching the television shows going, 'Oh God, we're so lucky to have healthy little kids'," Natasha said.
Still in shock, they are holding on to hope.
"He's had his first lot of chemo; he's got some extensive treatment because it's really a nasty one," she said.
"He's got to have six lots of five-day chemo and then they'll have a look and make sure it's still not growing, otherwise they'll send us home and say, 'No more.'
"Other than that, it'll be a couple of years, maybe the rest of his childhood battling it.
"The last two years I've helped Mum through cancer; she has terminal cancer but she's in remission, we just lost Grandpa in January, Graham's mum was diagnosed with cancer last week - so we're kind of accustomed to nastiness. It's been a tough two years."
Asked how they were coping, Graham laughed nervously before answering.
"You get your moments. But we've got each other, and our family and now we've got a community behind us," he said.
Support from the Rosewood community, especially St Brigid's School where Lara and Ella have just started, has been wonderfully helpful.
"The school has been amazing, doing things we never knew we needed, like cooking us dinner and just crazy stuff," Natasha said.
"It makes a huge difference; they're doing things we haven't asked for, like organising the rodeo - that's through the school.
"They've given us uniforms so we don't have to worry about washing."
Graham is equally in awe of the spontaneous help.
"When Tash was in hospital for five days and we're running back and forth and still had to worry about the two girls there was dinner here for us. They put dinner in the freezer," he said.
While we're talking, Kane is building a Lego car on a small table in front of the TV. He's wearing a natty hat and is preoccupied with his project until it's time to have his photo taken when he sparks up and puts on a shy, but brave smile.
Graham said the fact Kane doesn't look sick makes it harder to take but his marvelled at Kane's spirit.
"Every now and then he has a little moment but he gets over them pretty quickly," he said.
Natasha agreed: "He hasn't lost his spirit the whole time. Kids are amazing.
"He's a good kid. He's strong. He knows because he asked if they're going to fix him," Natasha said.
"He's also asked if he's going to be a star like grandpa. They're hard to answer.
"I said: 'Everybody has their moment; one day it will be yours and one day it will be mine. You will become a star one day like grandpa but we don't know when. And they fixed nanny.'
"As a parent, you can't think the worst; you've got to keep going.
"You've got to keep going every day and take it step by step. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to get up in the morning.
"And I've got a lot of hope that he's a strong little guy and they're fantastic at the hospital; doing such a good job and that gives you a bit of hope too."
A rodeo is being held at Rosewood Showgrounds on Friday, September 27 from 7pm to raise money for Kane and his family.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for kids and $50 for a family (two adults and all kids under 16)
For more information call 0417 401 609.