Jayden's story

I don't want any child to go through what Jayden's been through. No child deserves that.

- Leisl, Jayden’s mum

Jayden seemed a healthy and happy baby. But had another three weeks gone by before his cancer was detected, it would have killed him.


Always a cheerful little chap, 18-month-old Jayden was spotted one day by his neighbour walking with a tilt in his neck. Some days later, he developed what doctors thought was a gastric infection. But he didn't get any better. His mum Leisl took him to Princess Margaret Hospital and the doctor on duty ran a CT scan, discovering a golf ball-sized mass in Jayden's head.


Jayden was diagnosed with a brain cancer called atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumour (AT/RT) − a rare, fast-growing tumour of the brain and spinal cord. He was given just a 10% chance of survival.

The fear on hearing 'Your child has cancer' was so overwhelming, so gut-wrenching, like nothing I'd ever felt before.

- Leisl, Jayden's mum


Jayden's surgeons removed 99% of the tumour in his brain... but the remaining 1% was still potentially lethal. The only way to kill it was with a very harsh treatment regime.

The hardest part was having to hold him down while he was pleading with me to make it stop.

- Leisl, Jayden’s mum


The treatment needed to save Jayden's life nearly killed him, but thankfully he survived, as there is currently no known treatment for relapse. Jayden’s family acknowledges that the future is uncertain, but they try and live each day in the now. Jayden is a very sensitive soul and cares deeply about the environment and animals. He loves to help, and always carries the groceries and puts the trolley away. Jayden also likes cars, playing online games and watching youtube.


In 2021, Jayden is 11. He is in Year 5, and while he doesn’t love the academic side of school life, he is very social and his gentle nature means he has lots of friends - both boys and girls. Jayden is well known in his street and can often be found chatting with neighbours. Much to Leisl’s amusement Jayden knows all the gossip but CAN NOT keep a secret!

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