Help Mitchell get his wish
IT IS a heartbreak for a grandmother to watch a grandson battle a disease that threatens to snatch away his young life at any moment.
That is the experience of Merrian Ross who, for the past eight months, has watched Mitchell Luders, now 10, undergo operation after operation to treat a large cancerous tumour which had attached itself to the adrenal gland behind the stomach entailing the removal of both the tumour and the gland.
It was also a heartbreak that his wish to visit Japan to see how his favourite game, Pokemon, is made has come to nothing.
"He has been interested in Pokemon since he was three year old and has collected anything he can about the game," she said.
"During his illness it is one of the things that have kept him going."
On Make a Wish Foundation's urgings Mitchell's family applied to it to consider Mitchell's wish which was accepted.
Mrs Ross said Mitchell was excited at the prospect of visiting Japan's biggest Pokemon merchandise store complex.
However his hopes were dashed when the foundation recently announced it was facing financial hardship and had to cancel the requests.
Mrs Ross said Mitchell had become very disheartened by the news particularly as his parents, Rochelle and Michael, had previously planned to take him to Singapore and Hong Kong but had to cancel the trip after learning of his illness.
"I could not bear to see him disappointed again so I decided to turn to the generosity that Gladstone people have shown at such times as these."
This week his mother approached the Bank of Queensland to start a trust account to raise funds to make Mitchell's dream come true. The bank was very happy to help out.
Mrs Ross said Mitchell, who had been very brave throughout his ordeal, had shown a grown-up and self-less attitude.
At one time she asked him, if he could give the cancer to someone, would he.
"He came straight back with, 'No, nanna, because I am more than half way through my treatment, and they would have to start from the beginning, and that sucks'."
"That just confirms once again what an awesome, courageous little man he is and how compassionate he is of others."
This week Mitchell's family received the best news they have for the past eight months.
Doctor's had been doubtful that they could harvest stem cells from his body to be used to be replanted back into his body after chemotherapy. But they were able to harvest twice as much as they had hoped for - enough for one full treatment.
However more will have to be harvested from his body in case they were needed in the future.
Anyone wishing to help Mitchell's family grant his wish is urged to send donations to Bank of Queensland (BOQ) Mitchell's Wish BSB Number: 124-001 Account No: 21782886