Young Cassius puts up brave fight
FROM the outside, Cassius Goncalves (9) is like any other boy. He loves soccer and is not particularly fond of school.
But he has battled a genetic disorder his whole life that has kept him in hospital for many weeks and requires hours of physiotherapy daily.
Cassius has cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects the lungs and pancreatic system.
It severely reduces his ability to fight off lung infections, a situation that leads to him being in Princess Margaret Hospital more and more often.
Along with his parents Kirsty and Paul, siblings Brodii (3) and Oakley (10 months), other family and friends, he will take part in the 2014 Great Strides Perth on Sunday, November 2.
The annual event draws thousands to Perry Lakes Reserve in support of Cystic Fibrosis WA for a 4km or 8km walk or run.
It will be the fifth time the family has taken part fundraiser.
Mrs Goncalves said Cassius had faced many hurdles and was beginning to understand the severity of his illness.
“He was first at PMH when he was born because his bowel ruptured when he was in the womb,” she said.
“If he gets a cough or fluid in the lungs, he can’t get rid of it and when oral antibiotics don’t work he has to get a PICC line (catheter) inserted in
“He’s been really good lately; he’s had a phobia of needles and has been prodded so many times, but has overcome so much and is braver than ever.”
Cassius’ parents help with his physio- therapy each morning and night for more than an hour.
“He struggles to complete the physio each morning, which really isn’t nice for him, so in the afternoon we like him to choose his physio,” Mrs Goncalves said.
Cassius Goncalves (left), who is battling cystic fibrosis, with siblings Oakley and Brodii.