Alby inspires others
11-year-old bounces back with confidence after brain tumours
MICHELLE Everett considers her family pretty lucky.
She has four boys, growing up healthy and strong. But this wasn’t always that case.
This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Michelle shared her story of her second child Alby, who was diagnosed with fronto-parietal pilocytic astrocytoma at the age of three.
For the next four years, the family went on a roller coaster of emotions.
“I still remember it like yesterday when at the dinner table we asked Alby to clap his hands and he had no co-ordination at all.”
Doctors found a brain tumour and Alby was immediately put in for surgery.
“I don’t think you can be prepared for anything like that,” Michelle said.
During the next few years doctors found four tumours and each time Alby had to have them removed.
Michelle said he was fortunate that each time the doctors were able to remove all of it and he did not have to go through chemotherapy or any further treatment.
“Each time Alby bounced back faster,” she said.
As a result of the surgery and where the tumour was, Alby has permanent right-side hemiplegia. It has left his right side needing constant physiotherapy and exercise due to tightening of the muscles.
“He does not complain or whine. It is the beautiful thing about him, he just gets on with it and finds a way to do things,” Michelle said, believing that wanting to keep up with his younger brothers spurs him on.
Michelle said the best thing she did was get Alby classified so he can compete with other para-athletes.
He takes part in swimming, taekwondo and Little Athletics, where he competes at state level.
“He wants to be able to inspire other kids to have a go regardless of their ability,” Michelle said.
This attitude is what made his school nominate him to carry the baton for the Commonwealth Games, which he is waiting to hear about.
Alby also spent two weeks fundraising at Bli Bli State School and he managed to raise $2000 for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
DRESSED FOR SUCCESS: Alby Everett in yellow to fundraise for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
INSPIRING OTHER KIDS: Alby Everett on the podium for Little Athletics.