Childhood cancers are a reality for many Western Australian families. For Brea Gilbert, and her family, it was a long, and at times, painful journey. We are privileged to be able to share her personal story with you now:
On the 6th June 2001, I was diagnosed with leukaemia. I was just seven years of age and my life that day changed in the biggest way. That afternoon I was off to the children’s hospital with Mum to start chemo, Dad was away at work and my older brother was off to our Nana’s house to stay. This begun my journey, being in and out of hospital for the next two years and two months. Being only little I
didn’t understand what Leukaemia was or how it would affect me, all I knew was that I was going to be sick for a while.
I missed out on a lot of school over that time and seeing my friends. I would get exhausted so quickly during the day that my Mum and Dad would have to carry me places, as I couldn’t walk much and my legs would just ache. Treatment wasn’t fun and like any child I was scared of the needles, theatre operations and all of it, it was far from fun.
I don’t remember a lot as I was only little, but my best memory was going on the Queensland dream tour where I met a girl named Michaela; we became friends instantly and spent most of the trip together. After coming home and telling my Mum all about it, I found out that we were cousins! Unfortunately not long after, Michaela passed away. I will always remember her and she was a big part of my life even though it was only for a short time.
I went on to finishing my treatment and living my life, as every child should. I am now 20 years old, I have a Diploma in beauty and I am a make-up artist and one day I would love to work with the ‘Look Good Feel Better’ girls. I am lucky to have two beautiful daughters – Mikayla (named after my cousin) who is two and Airlia who is 3 months old. I am also now 11 years cancer free!