Ruby's Story

Ruby’s fight with cancer started when she was just 5 ½ months old.

When Ruby spiked a temperature on a family holiday, her Mum, Emma took her to the doctor, who told her Ruby just had a virus.

But over the next few days, Ruby’s temperature continued to climb and she was very lethargic. She wasn’t her usual happy self, so Emma took her back to the doctor.

“She looked really pale, but I thought she lacked iron…I didn’t think anything of it until the doctor referred us to the hospital”, said Emma.

Within 24 hours, doctors conducted blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy, and then they broke the news to Emma that would change her life forever.

Ruby’s little body was full of cancer cells, but the doctors couldn’t determine what kind of cancer she had.

And they told her all they could do was wait and watch how the cells developed.

“That’s when my world crumbled – those months nearly killed me with worry. I spent every night researching on the internet and wondering what would happen to my baby girl”.

Finally, 4 months later, Ruby was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia – a rare and aggressive childhood cancer.

Ruby had to stay in hospital for the next 6 months. She underwent 6 rounds of intensive chemotherapy and was so sick that some days she couldn’t even sip water…Ruby took her very first steps in a hospital room.

Finally, in February 2015, Ruby went into remission.

“We were so happy. We thought this horrific time in our life was over and we were celebrating having our gorgeous, cheeky little girl back – we could finally breathe again”, Emma told us.

But Ruby’s battle was far from over, because in September last year, just 6 months after going into remission, Ruby fell ill and Emma’s worst fears were confirmed.

Ruby’s cancer was back.

“When cancer comes back in children, their chances of survival drop dramatically. We were devastated. I just kept thinking ‘I can’t do this again… but we were so inspired by Ruby’s bravery, we knew we had to fight with everything we had.”

So the family prepared themselves to take on this ugly disease for a second time. Ruby’s only hope of survival was a major operation to get a bone marrow transplant.

After months of waiting for a suitable donor, Ruby underwent major surgery. She was just 2 ½ years old.

That year, Ruby spent Christmas in hospital… she couldn’t celebrate with her family and friends because she had to spend 4 months in isolation to prevent infection.

And even though the transplant was successful, more chemotherapy was needed to ensure that all the cancer cells were removed from her body.

Immediately after the surgery, Ruby had 2 more blood transfusions and went straight into round after round of chemotherapy, which made her very sick. She suffered from severe pain, stomach problems, skin rashes and numerous infections because her immune system was so weak.

For the last 8 months, Ruby has continued to take 5 oral chemotherapy tablets a day. All the medication has made Ruby’s lungs work so hard that she has developed a serious, recurring lung infection.

She suffers from viruses and infections on nearly a weekly basis and still has to spend a lot of time in hospital. She has to take 4 antibiotic tablets daily for the next 4 months…

She is still fighting every day.

But Miss Ruby is one brave little lady. She takes on every challenge with a smile, takes every opportunity to sing and dance and especially loves to dress up as Elsa, her favourite character from Frozen.

Ruby still has a huge battle ahead of her, but every day she gets a little bit stronger and closer to kicking cancers’ butt.