8-year-old Ruby is an outgoing girl who loves playing soccer, riding her bike, and playing with her beloved pup, Tilly.
In the lead-up to Christmas in 2021, Ruby’s parents noticed that she wasn’t her usual cheerful self. She seemed tired and subdued.
An initial doctor’s visit showed no cause for alarm, but after Christmas it became clear that something was wrong.
Ruby was taken to the Emergency Department of the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where doctors ran a series of tests. The initial results came back abnormal, and an oncology specialist was called.
Shortly after, Ruby was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Ruby’s family went from living a busy suburban life to having half of their family unit isolated in hospital for weeks on end.
Only one parent was allowed to be with Ruby at a time, and there was no option for her big brother, Ewan, or her Nana or Pa to visit her.
Ruby spent just under a month admitted to the oncology ward at Westmead on an intensive treatment plan of steroids and chemotherapy.
Then, over the next 8 months, Ruby experienced multiple hospital admissions, 3x intensive protocols of IV chemotherapy, blood transfusions, scans, lumbar punctures, and bone marrow aspirates.
Ruby lost her hair, became very fatigued, and dealt with ongoing nausea and vomiting. She also missed going to go to school and having regular contact with her friends.
But Ruby never lost her ability to crack a joke and make people laugh.
Ruby needed a central line inserted to receive treatments. After getting the line, she proclaimed that she was a robot, and that it was her recharging lead that made her invincible! From then on, she called herself “Ruby Robot!”
Thankfully, Ruby Robot no longer needs her recharging lead. She has finished her intensive chemotherapy protocol and is currently on oral maintenance chemotherapy until January 2024.
Ruby is enjoying school and has been able to return to all her favourite activities. She continues to rebuild her strength and stamina.
What an absolute champion. Ruby, you’ll be in our hearts and minds this October as we ride to kick cancer’s butt!