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Helping Luna Kemmery

Helping Luna Kemmery

raised of
$500,000 goal
Thanks to
174 supporters
Meet little Luna. A beautiful girl, with a cheeky smile and a force to be reckoned with.

Luna is a bright and funny two-year-old who loves collecting plushies, stickers, all things pink, drawing & colouring in, riding her trike, watching funny cat videos on YouTube, dancing and singing, painting, spending all her time outdoors and giving Smokey (her cat) cuddles. 

From birth Luna has spent her fair share of time in hospital. She should not be living her childhood and growing up inside the white and clinical four walls of a hospital. She should be outside. In fresh air, playing in the sun, swimming, feeling the sand between her toes, exploring the world and enjoying herself like any other two-year-old.

In July 2023, we heard six little words no parents ever want to hear.

“I’m sorry, your child has cancer”. 

It was discovered that Luna has a rare, aggressive, and fast spreading childhood cancer. She was diagnosed with high-risk stage IV neuroblastoma.

Her nerve cells had failed to mature properly, resulting in a grapefruit sized tumor growing off her kidney and adrenal gland. From there, it spread to her nearby lymph nodes, bone marrow and bones. Additionally, lesions were found in her pancreas and the primary tumor was found to be encasing her aorta. Her little body was riddled with cancer.

 Only 40 children per year in Australia are diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

The five-year survival rate is 50%. 

Without a moment to waste, Luna immediately began treatment. Her treatment plan is as follows: five rounds of induction chemotherapy, high-dose chemotherapy, multiple rounds of radiation, a bone marrow transplant, immunotherapy, and surgery to remove her primary tumour. 

From the get-go, Luna has had numerous blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, biopsies, and has had two central lines imbedded into her chest for chemotherapy, IV nutrition, blood specimens and other necessary intravenous medicines. From the very first day, she has had a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube to help improve her nutrition and easily administer daily medications. Inevitably, she has had her NG tube replaced on numerous occasions. This is an extremely traumatic experience for her. Her baby, "Bubby", is also wearing a mini feeding tube and central line to help her get better too. 

Since her diagnosis, Luna has completed her first two phases of her treatment plan: induction chemotherapy and consolidation therapy. Firstly, this consisted of five rounds of induction chemotherapy and surgery. Next came consolidation: high-chemotherapy coupled with a bone marrow transplant and a series of radiation treatments. Just last week, Luna successfully completed her radiation treatments. This consisted of 2.5 weeks of back-to-back sessions, where she required daily general anaesthetic. 

Luna has encountered many obstacles on her treatment journey and road to recovery thus far. During her high-dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant at the beginning of the year, she suffered many terrible side effects. Even the “rare” ones. Like most children undergoing this treatment, she suffered terrible mucositis. This is essentially incredibly painful ulcers all the way from the lips, down the GI tract, to the bum. Next, she was diagnosed with veno-occlusive disease (VOD). VOD can be life threatening, particularly if early intervention is not provided. It causes liver tenderness, swelling, fluid retention and jaundice to name a few. Despite being on 8 hourly preventative medication, Luna still suffered this horrible side effect. 

The worst was yet to come. 

Luna’s oxygen requirements were alarmingly increasing by the hour. She was transferred to Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where they deemed her to have two varying degrees of respiratory failure. We then learned Luna had a major pulmonary haemorrhage. The oncology, hematology and PICU teams were having difficulties understanding what was causing Luna’s critical condition. There, they diagnosed her with transplant associated thrombotic microangiopathy (TA-TMA) and immune thrombocytopenic purpura (IPT). Due to her critical state, she was put on a ventilated mask to help with her oxygen requirements. Luna spent two incredibly difficult weeks in PICU. We were told there was a VERY high chance Luna would pass away from all of these complications. The teams were astonished by Luna’s speedy recovery and sudden turn around. It was anything short of a miracle. To this day, Luna is still receiving treatment for her ITP with weekly injections. 

Nothing could prepare us as her parents and close family for this absolutely devastating news. While the family are heartbroken beyond words, we take comfort in the fact that children are resilient & they have a lot of love and support around them. She is receiving the best care possible and is currently undergoing treatment at the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH).

It is a long gruelling road ahead treatment wise and beyond. 

Due to the harsh and toxic chemotherapies Luna needs to beat this monster, she will face numerous lifelong health issues. Some include: inability to have her own children, permanent hearing loss, digestive & thyroid issues just to name a few. The real kicker is, she is more likely to develop secondary cancers, such as Leukaemia, later on in life. 

Due to the relentless nature of neuroblastoma, there is a 60% chance of relapse.

We have great faith and trust in her oncology team here at QCH, but there are limited treatment options available if she relapses. There are promising trials overseas in countries such as Rome & America. However, these come at an incredibly expensive cost which are out of reach for most people. 

If Luna relapses, her chances of survival plummet to a mere 5%.

Unfortunately, Luna’s mother has had to take unpaid leave from work and become her full-time carer. Her father remains working where possible, but unexpectedly and regularly has to take time off. 

We are fundraising to help ease the stress and burden of everyday household bills, plus the additional costs that come with caring for a child with a life-threatening illness. In addition, we are trying to save as best as possible to access costly treatments, such as the MSK bivalent vaccination and DFMO. 

Amazingly enough, both therapies are the standard of care of US children fighting neuroblastoma. Both treatments have been proven to reduce relapse odds by 25% each. Sadly, we feel Luna is disadvantaged and at a loss due to where she resides. Australia does not currently offer these treatments or offer to provide assistance to families desperately trying to access these standards of treatments overseas.

We urgently need to raise $500,000 to get Luna the care she deserves to access at least one of the above drugs. They will greatly improve her chances of survival. With the vaccination, she will require 6 to 7 injections across a 2 year time-frame. Similarly, with DFMO, she will be required to take medication twice daily for 2 years. Naturally, this would mean multiple trips to America. 

 We would greatly appreciate any help with achieving our fundraising goal and helping save our daughter! 

This fight ahead is huge and by no means easy. We are blessed each day to wake up and spend time with our daughter as we know days may be limited. 

We know things are tight for everyone right now. Everyone is feeling the pressure of constant rises with cost of living. We please ask if you can support us in anyway, whether that is just to share our fundraising page or by a kind donation, any help that can be granted is help we would be forever grateful for. 

Many people have generously asked how they can help our family. THIS IS HOW. We desperately need your help. Every dollar donated gets Luna that little step closer to securing the treatments she needs. 

There is no denying Luna was dealt an unfair hand, right from birth. Please help us change that. Luna deserves to live a bright, happy, fulfilling and beautiful life. She deserves a fighting chance. 

We cannot do this without you. 

Sometimes real-life hero’s live inside little children fighting big battles! Luna is our real-life hero. 

We need kinder childhood cancer treatment options to become a world standard of care made available to all Australian children. Whilst we are grateful in knowing that we live in a progressive country that people deem to be the lucky country, and while we do have access to healthcare, it is of no comfort when you are fighting to save a child who’s health care is actually limited just because of where she lives. Our children need advocates to promote better care and options to save these next generations. Too many parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, family, and friends of children diagnosed with cancer are all fighting to progress available lifesaving care. You never think such a terrifying thing will happen to the most vulnerable member of your family. But everyday Australian families who are impacted by childhood cancer are all just begging for help and doing everything they can to save their children. Those of us who would never dream of asking for the help of strangers are humbly asking, just so we can know we are doing everything we can to save our children. One helping hand can share our pleas for help, which can lead to many helping hands. They say it takes a village to raise a child. We know it will take a country to save all of our children. We need the government to advance our cancer care for children’s survival odds to be equal to America and Rome.

If love was the currency to cure cancer, Luna would be thriving and living her best life carefree like any other two-year-old. 

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. 

To keep up to date with Luna’s journey, follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/Brave.Like.Luna

Thanks to our supporters