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Helping Marko Magic

Helping Marko Magic

Marko is our youngest baby of three. He has the most precious smile and gentle, caring personality. Unfortunately, in the two short years of his life he's already endured more than most of us would in our lifetime.

Following almost six weeks of persistent tummy problems and a further couple of weeks of invasive tests, in April 2018, at only 16 months of age, we received devastating news that Marko had neuroblastoma. Although  a relatively rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma is one of the most common malignant tumours in children under the age of five.

Initially, Marko's tumour was classified as a low risk, localized neuroblastoma. The large tumour size of an orange was removed from his little body at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and we were reassured that he was cured - past clinical evidence indicated that children with this type of neuroblastoma have a 98% survival rate. The only complication advised at the time was the slight chance that the tumour may regrow, in which case it would be removed again with no serious implications for Marko's future development.

The whole family felt relieved and eternally blessed to receive such positive news after several months of the most gut wrenching thoughts and expectations of the worst. As Marko was slowly recovering, my husband and I returned to work, our three boys to school and daycare and life was getting back to normal. The whole experience, although horrifying, also provided us with an opportunity to do some extensive soul searching, gave us a new perspective on life and the values that shape us and made us much stronger as individuals and as a family too.

But this newly found bliss would not last long. In October 2018, Marko started to limp and developed a fever. As the symptoms persisted, we took him to the emergency department at Royal Children's again, where he was diagnosed with septic arthritis of his right hip. He underwent surgery to wash out the joint and was put on a 8 week course of antibiotics. During the course of this treatment, he was seen by his Oncologist who once again reassured us that Marko was cured from neuroblastoma and that this episode was purely coincidental.

Regrettably, the specialists were wrong. Marko's fever and limp never fully subsided, and following yet another admission to ED, orthopaedic surgeons ordered an urgent MRI, followed by a CT scan a day after. To the ultimate surprise of everyone involved, the scans showed that Marko had developed another tumour at the primary site in his left abdomen, 10cm in diameter which had infiltrated his left kidney. There were multiple tumours in his pelvis, the long bones of his legs and potential spinal involvement too. Bone marrow and testicular biopsies confirmed that these organs had been affected by metastases too. Marko now has Stage 4 High Risk neuroblastoma. With the most advanced type of treatment available in Australia children facing this diagnosis only have a 40-50% 5-year survival rate. Should Marko survive this treatment, there is still a high chance he would relapse, at which point the majority of patients are considered terminal.

Luckily, there is hope! 

Following extensive research of various clinical trials available across the globe and consultation with other families going through a similar ordeal, we were made aware of a therapy available at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York, USA. The trial is led by Dr Brian Kushner, a renowned paediatric oncologist who specializes in neuroblastoma treatment. The Phase 1 trial of this therapy has shown extremely positive results to date, and it seems that this opportunity is the best hope available in the world at the moment to give Marko another chance in life.

Unfortunately, this treatment does not come cheap. As international patients, it is estimated that we would need approximately AU$350,000 to make this treatment available to Marko - this is money we do not have even if we sold all our possessions. This amount is needed to cover medical expenses as well as a year of having to live in New York for the duration of the trial, or make multiple trips back and forth. Should this eventuate, Marko and I will travel to NY alone once he finishes frontline treatment, and my husband will stay behind in Melbourne with the two older boys so that he does not lose his job and the kids continue their education.

We are absolutely devastated at the thought of not being able to provide our youngest baby with every possible option to extend his life and give him an opportunity to grow up and make his mark in the world. We are raising our kids to be selfless, to show positive values in their every action and believe that the main purpose of life is to make this world a better place for everyone. 

Please, please, please help us ensure that Marko gets this chance to achieve his full potential! No matter what the outcome of this journey is, our family will endeavour that our every action be directed towards giving back to the wonderful community that has shown so much love, strength and compassion to make one little boy smile again.

With our heartfelt gratitude,

The Magic family

Lidija Coha
(1 hours ago)
Get well soon gorgeous boy
$50
Anonymous
(3 days ago)
$50
Daki&Vorota
(5 days ago)
Sretno od srca. ❤️❤️❤️
$300
Goran Varda
(5 days ago)
$20
Anonymous
(5 days ago)
$20
Anonymous
(5 days ago)
$50
AGL Power to Give
(6 days ago)
Donated to Marko on behalf of the AGL Power to Give workplace donations.
$1,285
Anonymous
(6 days ago)
$100
Adam
(7 days ago)
Donating as a Hootsuite employee. Hoping for the best outcome for your little one!
$30
Anonymous
(7 days ago)
$50
Aco i Sandra
(8 days ago)
$100
Anita Eres
(9 days ago)
$50
Vesna and Vito
(15 days ago)
$100
Bogovic family
(17 days ago)
Heartfelt best wishes for Marko
$20
Nick Z
(22 days ago)
$20
Pete
(28 days ago)
$10
Leanne from Norwex
(33 days ago)
Thankyou for letting me be part of your fundraiser.
$124
Mirna
(39 days ago)
$30
Anonymous
(41 days ago)
$20
Mia 💕
(45 days ago)
$150
Dalia Abdicevic (Mila &Ari)
(46 days ago)
We wish our little superhero Marko a quick recovery 💙🦕🍀
$150
AMV
(46 days ago)
$100
Anonymous
(46 days ago)
$50
Gordana Grubor
(46 days ago)
$500
Ward Family Foundation - APS
(47 days ago)
$7,000
Mia & Ella
(48 days ago)
🙏🧚‍♀️💙
$200
Mirela Karup
(56 days ago)
Good luck Marko!! 💙
$100
Chris and Adriana
(58 days ago)
Best of luck!
$200
Anonymous
(59 days ago)
$30
Marko-Dijana Vidakovic
(61 days ago)
$200
Zerina, Zara & Edvin
(62 days ago)
get well soon little man!
$180
Anonymous
(64 days ago)
$50
Olivia & Filip
(72 days ago)
Best of luck !
$100
Arlene Wherrett
(74 days ago)
Hi Andrija, All the best to you and your family and especially Marko.
$100
Family Bardak
(76 days ago)
The bravest and strongest little soul we have seen. We wish all of you the best.
$300
Jonathan Pavkovic
(80 days ago)
$550
On behalf of Bosch Australia
(88 days ago)
$500
Angela Przulj
(92 days ago)
Marko and family Wishing you win in this fight.
$200
Sara Andrejic
(99 days ago)
$10
Anonymous
(102 days ago)
$20
Anonymous
(103 days ago)
$100
Anonymous
(109 days ago)
$200
Brankica i Mija Mijovic
(110 days ago)
┼Żelimo brzo ozdravljenje i oporavak.
$50
Vesna Romic
(115 days ago)
$200
Anonymous
(119 days ago)
$100
Anonymous
(119 days ago)
$20
Anonymous
(120 days ago)
$500
Anonymous
(120 days ago)
$30
Anonymous
(121 days ago)
$10
Aleksandar Stanojevic
(121 days ago)
$100
Djordje Drca
(121 days ago)
$160
Anonymous
(122 days ago)
$685
Dalibor Vignjevic
(123 days ago)
$300
People who donated at St. Stefan Serbian Orthodox Church
(123 days ago)
$190
Aleida Wright
(123 days ago)
$20
Srboljub
(123 days ago)
$50
Miljanic Savo
(123 days ago)
$20
Marina and Dragan Dodic
(123 days ago)
$100
Anonymous
(124 days ago)
$10
Kate and Richard Vines
(125 days ago)
Our very best wishes to you Marko
$250
Category: Patient
Tags: neuroblastoma; Marko Magic; brain tumour,
$16,434
raised of $250,000 Goal
donations