Originally published in the Herald Sun March 2, 2017.
Words by Kara Irving.
One day little Jack was fighting fit, the next he was in hospital having surgery to remove a life threatening tumour from his brain.
Parents Alana and Reece knew something wasn’t right last September when their son Jack began vomiting every night.
The usually healthy child also had unexplained dizziness and would become unbalanced.
“We noticed he’d start grabbing onto walls,” mum Alana said.
“He was the type of kid that ran everywhere and that had stopped too.”
After countless doctors visits, the Werribee couple took Jack to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
In a meeting with doctors they learned the worst — Jack had a 5cm tumour on his brain.
“It was the worst day of my life,” Reece said. “We kept thinking: ‘did we do something wrong?’
Alana didn’t want to believe the news: “I thought the walls were caving in. I knew I’d heard something bad but it wasn’t registering.”
Doctors diagnosed Jack with children’s tumour pilocytic astrocytoma.
They knew the growth was near the cerebellum at the base of the brain and could be removed through surgery.
But what they didn’t know was why it happened.
“I kept hearing that it was appallingly bad luck,” Alana said. “They were wishing they could explain.”
Luckily the surgery was a success, with all of the tumour removed. He was cleared of any cancer, but would need scans for the rest of his life.
A few days after surgery he was kicking a ball around the hospital. Now the Miles family is taking part in Run for the Kids to raise money for the hospital that saved their son’s life.
“We’ve never done the run before, but we have donated every year,” Alana said.
“I don’t think I could ever express how grateful I am. I’ll never be able to repay them enough.”
The family friendly 4.8km and the long 14.6km courses will give runners a once-in-a-year opportunity to run through the Domain Tunnel, otherwise inaccessible by foot.
More than 50 per cent of entry fees go directly to the Good Friday Appeal.
Last year more than 27,000 Melburnians raised $1.7 million.
The Werribee family wants to raise $2000 for the hospital ahead of the event.
You can join us on Sunday April 9 for Victoria’s favourite fun run, the Herald Sun/CityLink Run for the Kids.
The unique community event is the single biggest fundraising contributor to the Good Friday Appeal.