Cam­pout for child can­cer

Fam­ily fun week­end out­doors

Joondalup Times - - NEWS - Lau­ren Pi­lat

CAMP­ING is one of Fin­lay Higgs’ favourite out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and a happy es­cape for the five-year-old, who con­tin­ues to fight a rare form of child­hood can­cer.

At three years old, Fin­lay was di­ag­nosed with stage 4 high-risk hep­a­to­blas­toma, a rare type of liver can­cer, be­fore un­der­go­ing mul­ti­ple surg­eries and treat­ments.

While un­der­go­ing treat­ment the Joon­dalup tod­dler wasn’t able to have a nor­mal child­hood and en­joy the things he loves like camp­ing, so the Higgs fam­ily cre­ated a fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive in hon­our of chil­dren like Fin­lay.

This month, Fin­lay and his fam­ily in­vite the Perth com­mu­nity to at­tend their sec­ond an­nual com­mu­nity cam­pout at Lath­lain Park to raise funds for crit­i­cal re­search into child­hood cancers. Held at the Perth Foot­ball Club’s home ground from Oc­to­ber 27, the fam­i­lyfriendly event will in­clude a Perth Demons foot­ball clinic, sto­ry­telling around the camp­fire, sing-along ses­sions, face paint­ing, live mu­sic and a bar­be­cue.

All pro­ceeds from the two-day fundraiser go to the Chil­dren’s Leukaemia & Can­cer Re­search Foun­da­tion’s Mil­lion Dol­lar Project for Telethon.

Fin­lay’s mother Katey Higgs said last year’s cam­pout was a huge suc­cess and since then, Fin­lay had made promis­ing progress.

“Since the last cam­pout, Fin­lay has started kindy and is re­ally en­joy­ing mak­ing lots of new friends,” she said. “He has re­mained disease-free and is get­ting stronger and stronger.

“My favourite thing about last year’s cam­pout was see­ing how re­laxed and happy ev­ery­one looked sit­ting around to­gether as a fam­ily, en­joy­ing the bar­be­cue and lis­ten­ing to the fab­u­lous en­ter­tain­ment.”

Mrs Higgs said the rareness of hep­a­to­blas­toma meant much more fund­ing for re­search was needed to im­prove the cur­rent sur­vival rate, which var­ied from 20 per cent to 70 per cent, de­pen­dent on how ad­vanced the can­cer was.

“The more they dis­cover and learn about child­hood cancers, the bet­ter they will be able to treat all chil­dren,” she said.

“With­out do­na­tions, there is no re­search. With­out re­search, noth­ing changes... we want child­hood cancers to be uni­ver­sally sur­viv­able.”

Top: Fin­lay Higgs at a child­hood can­cer camp out.Above: Fin­lay Higgs (cen­tre) with Blake John­son, Chris­tian Eyres, Cody Leggett and Kur­tis Ch­ester from the Perth Demons.

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