Young Cas­sius puts up brave fight

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Perry Lakes - John Dob­son

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


the hos­pi­tal.

“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.

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