News

Josh upbeat despite long fight for life

TRUE FIGHTER: Childers teen Joshua Ruane has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
TRUE FIGHTER: Childers teen Joshua Ruane has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"THERE have been times when I have felt I can't go on anymore... But then something kicks in and I think 'no this isn't going to beat me'.”

That's the unwavering spirit of 19-year-old Joshua Ruane, who's spent the last four years fighting for his life.

The Childers teenager was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 15.

"After receiving chemo for about a week and a half, I was allowed to leave the hospital to stay nearby but unfortunately, I contracted an E-Coli bug that attacked my body due to a suppressed immune system from the chemo resulting in what they call Rhabdomyolysis which destroyed the muscles in my arms and legs,” he said.

"They relate Rhabdomyolysis as like being in the vicinity of a bomb blast and having the repercussions pass through your body - I was unable to walk and told that I might never be able to again.

"I spent four months in bed but with the help of my physio and occupational therapist over15 months I was able to build my strength back up and get into a wheelchair, then eventually on to crutches before being able to give them away as well.”

Josh spent his first of four trips in ICU in January 2014, after he collapsed in the Leukemia village with pneumonia - Josh has had to fight not only cancer, but treatment, infection and the emotional strain of uncertainty.

"I have since learnt that it was pretty touch and go for awhile, with doctors unsure as to whether I was going to pull through,” he said.

"The doctors wanted me to have a bone marrow transplant but couldn't do it while I had the infection and they couldn't wait for drugs to clear it because it risked the Leukemia taking over.

In order to have the bone marrow transplant from his older brother Stephen, 1/3 of Josh's lung was removed to avoid infection, landing Josh in ICU for the second time.

In 2015 the cancer was back and Stephen donated his stem cells to try and help his brother. Josh said 14 months after his second transplant, a mass of Leukemia cells wrapped around the blood vessels and air ways above his heart - "more or less choking me to death”.

Since undergoing 10 sessions of radiation to help shrink the mass, Josh said "everything looks good” and while it's been a tough time for his whole family, he's not letting anything stop him from living.

"I'm going to have a normal life doing the things anyone of my age is doing - I want to go to TAFE and do a Cert II in Electro technology so I can become an Electrician,” he said.

"I want to just spend time with my mates hanging out and doing whatever, I want to go four-wheel-driving with my brother on Fraser Island at the end of April.

Josh said the plan is to harvest t-cells from Stephen over the next six months and inject them to bring on Graft Versus Host (G.V.H) and Graft Versus Leukemia, which he hopes will remove remainng cancer cells.

To help Josh, visit his GoFundMe page, http://bit.ly/2miTicm

Topics:  cancer disease fight for life health sickness



Funds to save fauna

Very large echidna in my back yard Habana

Thousands granted to Isis Landcare Group

Local Partners

Diana Chan crowned MasterChef's 2017 winner

MELBOURNE accountant comes out on top after an intense 8-hour grand final showdown.

Mini ninjas get into training

Gary Nowlan, 12, of Gawler East trains in X-Park at Bounce.

Kids as young as 12 are already dreaming of becoming Ninja Warriors

Families that game together, stay together?

Gaming is becoming an increasingly popular opportunity for family bonding, according to new studies.

More parents, grandparents turn to gaming to connect with kids

Michael Phelps just raced a shark

Sharks have been snapped surrounding the carcass of a whale off the coast of Fraser Island.

Swimming legend loses by a fin in man versus beast battle

REVIEW: The Bodyguard musical is a great night out

Kip Gamblin and Paulini in a scene from the musical The Bodyguard.

PAULINI tackles Whitney Houston's powerhouse songs flawlessly.

What 'intimidated' Chris Hemsworth's Thor while filming?

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has a new look in the third film.Source:Supplied

It looks like Chris Hemsworth met his match.

RECAP: Game of Thrones s7 episode 2 - Stormborn

Kit Harington in a scene from season seven episode two of Game of Thrones.

*WARNING this story contains spoilers*

'We’re goin' to Bonnie Doon!' and now you can too

How's the serenity?

The experience will have you exclaiming “how’s the serenity?”

New life for Bree and historic Oddfellows Hall

TWO CHANGES: Bree Dahl with her new baby Ivy in front of the historic Oddfellows Hall she purchased at auction and will renovate into a house.

Historic hall to be turned into home

Financial scandal destroys alternative community

Families who gave thousands to be a part of an alternative community at Mt Burrell, west of Murwillumbah, are now trying to recover their investment. Picture: Jamie Hanson

Dream Utopia turns into a nightmare

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out