Levi Blacka can’t wait to get into the routine of school.
Since August last year, Levi’s life has centred around Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick, where the five-year-old has been undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
But the good news is that Levi will shortly be finishing the “intensive” stage of his treatment and, as he is in remission, will be able to come home to Wagga.
Levi will be undergoing “maintenance” treatments for another 18 months, but he will be able to come home to his own bed, his toys and his dog Frankie and spend time with his dad Leigh, mum Gloria and sister Delilah.
Mr Blacka said it’s been a gruelling period.
“After the diagnosis, we spent four months at Ronald McDonald House in Randwick while Levi received intensive treatment,” Mr Blacka said.
“The first phase induced remission, but caused side effects like weight gain and Levi lost his hair.
“It was difficult to watch Levi go from being an active and cheeky little boy to being severely lethargic and losing his spark.
“During the next phase of treatment the spark returned along with his hair and we were able to return home to Wagga for a short break. Levi was able to visit Amy Hurd Childcare and caught up with his friends and educators.
“Shortly before beginning this last intensive protocol, Levi was well enough to attend st Joseph’s Primary School for his first day of kindy.
“We are currently in hospital due to a rare side effect of one of the chemotherapy drugs which caused Levi's sodium levels to drop to a dangerous level.
“This last stage is as intense as the first two phases. Levi again has gained weight lost his hair and has lost strength and at the moment can't walk. But then the end is in sight and Levi has three weeks of treatment to go provided there are no additional delays.”
Mr Blacka said his family was extremely grateful for the support they had received during Levi’s treatment.
Having grown a beard as comfort for Levi while he had lost his hair, Mr Blacka will shave it on Wednesday, March 14, for the World's Greatest Shave.
To sponsor him, check online.
Mr Blacka will also be participating in a fun run for Ronald McDonald House on Sunday and can be sponsored online.