Australia: House of hope for family after baby son diagnosed with rare cancer - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia House of hope for family after baby son diagnosed with rare cancer

13:06  09 october  2019
13:06  09 october  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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Jenny and Peter Northey's baby boy Eli was born almost two months ago, but they haven't been able to take him home from hospital.

Eli has a rare condition called laryngomalacia, which ultimately affects his breathing.

"Every time he takes a breath, a high-pitched squeal comes out, and when he gets upset, it gets worse," dad Peter told A Current Affair.

"He holds his breath when he gets upset and he stops breathing and turns blue. Our role is to keep him as calm as possible so he continues to breathe."

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Eli is at the Sydney Children's Hospital. At just six weeks old, he's already undergone two surgeries, a supraglottoplasty and a tracheostomy.

a person sitting on a table: Eli Northey was born with a rare condition that affected his breathing. © A Current Affair Eli Northey was born with a rare condition that affected his breathing.

And now, Jenny and Peter have now received more devastating news.

"When they were putting the tracheostomy in, they found that he had a tumour, located just under his neck," Jenny said.

"It's an acute neuroblastoma, which is a rare paediatric cancer. It was a shock to us."

a couple of people that are looking at the camera: Parents Jenny and Peter Northey were devastated after Eli was later diagnosed with cancer. © A Current Affair Parents Jenny and Peter Northey were devastated after Eli was later diagnosed with cancer.

Eli is now able to breathe on his own, and his parents say he's much happier.

But he's still in hospital.

The Northey family would have faced a four-hour road trip from their home to the hospital, but thanks to Ronald McDonald House, they've been able to be by Eli's bedside every day since his birth.

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a person holding a baby: The Northey family is staying in a Ronald McDonald House, where they can be near Eli. © A Current Affair The Northey family is staying in a Ronald McDonald House, where they can be near Eli.

"To travel each day to be here would almost be impossible. Financially, emotionally, physically, it'd be very hard," Peter said.

"So we were offered a place here at Ronald McDonald House, which is a two-minute walk to our son's bed."

Since the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Australia 40 years ago, they've hosted close to 2.9 million families.

a woman smiling for the camera: Jenny said the charity offered a home, love and compassion. © A Current Affair Jenny said the charity offered a home, love and compassion.

There are currently 18 Ronald McDonald Homes across the country.

Jenny and Peter's other young children Luke, Liam and Ava have also moved in.

"A home, love, compassion, everyone is so kind and caring towards us, towards the kids, our welfare," Jenny aid.

"It's not all about having a sick child, it's about the family."

a person cooking in a kitchen preparing food: Volunteers cook meals for Ronald McDonald House residents. © A Current Affair Volunteers cook meals for Ronald McDonald House residents.

Volunteers, including members of Little Zaks Academy, even cook meals for residents, removing the added stress of feeding a family.

And with this support, Jenny and Peter can focus on their children, including little Eli.

"I just hope he can come home soon, to be a happy, healthy, normal little boy that will flourish and thrive in his home environment," Jenny said.

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Bianca Innes, 23, from Queensland, was diagnosed when she was just 20 after finding a painful lump under her right breast.Bianca Innes, 23, from Queensland, was diagnosed when she was just 20 after finding a lump.

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