A Riverina family has shared her their devastating news in a bid to raise awareness for brain cancer.
Jody Webster’s granddaughter, Annabelle Potts, was just like any other child her age when she spent time with her family at Harden over Christmas.
Besides being tired, the three-year-old was busy creating havoc with her cousin.
But just days later, the Potts family, who live in Canberra, was thrown into disarray on December 30 with the news Annabelle had an inoperable tumour on her brain stem.
“We found out not just that she had a tumour, but that there’s not much hope of her growing up,” Jody said.
“You look at Annabelle and (you realise there will be no) planning on going to her wedding, or seeing her have kids.”
When Jody, who is employed by Fairfax Media, received the news via a phone call, she said she was in a state of shock.
“I was waiting for someone to call me back and tell me it was a mistake,” she said.
Jody’s son and Annabelle’s father, Adam Potts, said the first real indication of something being wrong was on Boxing Day.
“She was walking funny and stumbling around,” Adam said.
“We noticed her eyes were jumping around a little bit, and (my wife) Kathie noticed her drooling.”
The next few days and weeks were a whirlwind as doctors diagnosed and moved to begin treating Annabelle.
Annabelle was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a highly aggressive and difficult-to-treat brain tumour.
Adam said his daughter was receiving radiation treatment in Sydney, but it would only buy the family some time.
“Without treatment (the prognosis) is up to two months,” he said.
“With treatment it can six months to up to three years.”
Annabelle's aunt, Louise Griffith has set up a 'go fund me' page to help the family pay for medical expenses.
The page has raised more than $63,000 in less than a fortnight.
Adam describes the community support as “overwhelming”.
“We’ve looked at it a few times – there are people (donating) from people I went to school with to friends at work,” he said.
“A lot of people have been ringing and asking how they can help.”
One of Jody’s aquaintances, Natasha Batinich – who lost her 29-year-old husband to brain cancer last year, helped the Potts family get into contact with renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo to see if he could operate on Annabelle.
The family has sent Annabelle’s MRI scans to Dr Teo and he would be getting back to them next week.
People can donate to the family by going here.
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