When Issac Little smiles, his big blue eyes light up, his little nose crinkles and everyone around him smiles with him.
But that cheeky grin is hiding more pain and suffering that any 18-month-old should endure.
During his short life, Issac has received gruelling treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with a MLL gene rearrangement.
The drugs have made him tired, nauseous, gain weight, lose his hair and become moody but Issac’s biggest challenge begins tomorrow.
Issac will receive a bone marrow transplant using donor cord blood.
He has received a week of conditioning chemotherapy to destroy his old immune system in preparation for a new one.
The family, consisting of mother Shae-leigh Little, dad Tai Murphy and grandmother Lisa Little, are holding out hope that this is the treatment that allows them to bring him home to Wagga.
“Because he has relapsed while on treatment, he’s considered high risk,” grandmother Lisa Little said.
“If he relapses in the first six months after the transplant, he will be considered incurable.
“We try not to focus on it.”
Miss Little has been with her daughter, son-in-law and grandson in Sydney since Issac was diagnosed in Wagga last October.
Issac presented with tiny bruises covering his body and blood in his urine when he was six months old.
“The paediatrician was 99 per cent sure it was leukemia and they confirmed that within two hours,” Miss Little said.
“Issac is my first grandson and I’ve had such a strong role in his upbringing, so it’s hard.”
The family recently had something to celebrate with the birth of Issac’s brother, Chaise, on November 14.
“Issac absolutely adores him,” Miss Little said.
“Chaise has been a good distraction.”
The family have been living at Ronald McDonald House and still have their Wagga home, Issac’s food and other living expenses to consider.
Issac will be in isolation for at least 100 days after the transplant so their expenses will continue well into 2016.
A charity screening of Hotel Transylvania 2 will be held on December 10 from 5.30pm at Forum 6 Cinema.
Tickets are $20, which includes movie screening and refreshments, and are available by emailing Sharada17@hotmail.com.
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