Lighting the night to support cancer
INNER strength shines from little Zaria Bewick as one of many children diagnosed with leukaemia in the Bundaberg region.
Zaria's story started aged just 19 months old; she went from a happy healthy little toddler to being hospitalised in Brisbane needing life saving treatment.
Those moments changed the Bewick family's life forever.
Her mother Chantal Bewick was told she had two hours to pack her bags for the flight to Brisbane and there were no clue to how long they would be there.
The stressful time was made a little easier when the family was given the opportunity to stay at The Leukaemia Village in Brisbane.
It's the reason they have chosen to take part in this year's Leukaemia Foundation's Light The Night walk.
Zaria battled the blood cancer with months of treatment.
Treatment that will continue until she is four in Brisbane every three months.
Mrs Bewick said she was grateful for the research The Leukaemia Foundation had done to find a cure.
"Treatment now is better than what it was 20 years ago,” The mother-of-two said.
"We had so much support and it was needed.
"The support and research go hand in hand and that's why the foundation is so important.”
Before the diagnosis the family didn't know what it was like to love someone with a serious illness.
They are now passionate about spreading the word in order to give back.
"They told us Zaria had abnormal chromosomes and a mutation of genes,” Mrs Bewick said.
"Researchers only recognised this in the last five years and without them knowing this she would have had to have intense chemotherapy.
"The research helps improve the quality of life for these children.”
She said the cancer didn't discriminate and it could strike any one at any age.
"Going through this we realised how many people are affected by leukaemia,” she said.
"There are so many young and healthy people who just get it and it strikes quickly.
"One day Zaria was running around, the next she couldn't walk and she had leukaemia.”
Zaria continues to receive chemotherapy at the Bundaberg Hospital every four weeks.