Natalia's story

Natalia was not yet two years old when her mother noticed a series of strange symptoms appearing.


19-month-old Natalia was feverish, which mum Belinda thought might be to do with teething. Then Belinda noticed bruising on Natalia's back and upper arms, a lump on the side of her head, and a large white ulcer in her mouth. One morning, Natalia woke up with bleeding gums.


Belinda took Natalia to three different doctors, who thought she may have a virus or a haematoma. Eventually they went to Emergency at the Children's Hospital at Westmead. Belinda says the triage nurse took one look at Natalia and told them to come straight through. After testing, a doctor came in, closed the door and told Belinda and her husband Tony that Natalia had cancer in her blood. The pair wailed uncontrollably.

I couldn't look at Nat at the time. I couldn't associate her with cancer.

- Belinda, Natalia's mum


Natalia had an emergency blood transfusion that evening and a bone marrow aspiration the following morning. Her central line was put in and later that day her diagnosis was confirmed: Type B acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Natalia began nine months of intense chemotherapy. Her hair started falling out and she became so weak she stopped walking.

A social worker said to me "this will be your home for the next two years.' That's when it really hit home - I had no idea treatment lasted that long.

- Belinda, Natalia's mum

A little brother

Two days before Natalia's central line was removed, her little brother Lucas was born. Belinda didn't know how she'd cope, and was terrified Lucas would get sick too. But thankfully, Lucas was a healthy and happy baby.

After treatment

After 18 months of maintenance therapy, Natalia finished her treatment. In May 2015, the family was thrilled to see her pass her 5-year remission milestone.

Families need to hear the good stories. I craved those stories; they gave me hope.

- Belinda, Natalia's mum

How you can help

Give a gift

By giving a gift today, you can make a difference to the lives of children with cancer.

Ways to give

Fundraising and events

Get involved in one of our events or create your own to help find better, safer treatments for children with cancer.

Find an event


Join our diverse community of businesses, philanthropists and gamechangers, determined to help cure childhood cancer.

Learn more

Share your story

Have you been touched by childhood cancer and would like to share your story? Please get in touch today.

Share my story

Your donation will fund research that will save young lives!