learns the true meaning of love from one brave family.
More children die from brain cancer than any other disease. It is a devastating fact. But while statistics can make us pause for a moment, they don’t tell the whole story. Each statistic is a person. A person who feels pain, a person who fights bravely, they are part of a family.
Recently thathat horrible statistic became very real eal for the Darch family and their four-year-oldyear-old boy, Bede. Cheeky, spirited, determined mined little Bede.
Born in early ly 2013, Bede didn’t sleep much in the early days and seemed out of sorts. A little boy who, at just a few ew months old, was diagnosed d with a large tumour in the central core of his brain. A little tle boy given just weeks to live. ive.
From there the brutal roller-coaster oaster ride that is brain ain cancer began. Years of f intense treatment and d hospital stays. Scans, results,esults, fear.
When I met t Bede, he was three and was being fed intravenously usly at home, he was on 14 differentifferent drugs, and spent most st of his day in a high level of discomfort.
Watching Bede’s mum, Issy, and d dad, Roy, was a confrontingnfronting crash course in n caring for a terminallyly ill child. Issy was cautious about talking to the cameras, scarred from the reaction to a bravely honest blog post she wrote a few weeks earlier where she poured out her heart: The truth is I want my son to die. He is tired. I want peace for him, rest. Issy deserved support. Instead, she was met with misunderstanding and criticism. A devoted, loving mother w who woke up eight times a night to help her sick boy, a mother who’s been calledca in to hospital to say goodby goodbye to her son multiple times. Despite the traum trauma this family was living t through, there was a positiv positivity and joy that filled ever every room. A rich life being lived. It was at theth Darch family home t that I learnt the tru true definition of f family – of brotherly l love. Bede’s big brotherbrot Gus, laying nose to nose with Bede, cal calming him with his voice, his laughter, h his love. Last month, B Bede left this world. After a threeand-a-half-year battle,b the pain was over.ov He passed away i in his mother’s ar arms. In tru true Bede form form, he defied pro prognoses and expectations right to the end. In the months before his passing, he was thriving. He had learnt to sit again and was close to walking, he was attending kindergarten, loved music, swimming and the park. While he could not speak, he could sign, and Issy says he mimicked the words “I love you” back to her.
Bede’s family describe him as: A miracle of medicine and love. To families still fighting we would say Bede’s life is a triumph not a tragedy; hold the faith.
His life was an example of hope and taught us impossible is nothing.
Bede led a peaceful yet defiant protest against brain cancer. Issy says he was the most incredible, generous, accommodating human being who lit up their family’s life.
I was forever changed by meeting Bede and his awe-inspiring family, and I truly believe their strength will save lives in the future.
To Issy and Roy and your family, I truly hope Bede is at peace. His light shines on. Carrie co-hosts The Project, 6.30pm weeknights, on Network Ten.
“It was at the Darch family home that I learnt the true definition of love”