Two-year-old Armalie went to the emergency department in her home of Gladstone in May 2021, with fears she had a stomach bug.
Before long, doctors identified a large mass on the right side of her brain, believing it was a blood clot. Soon after discovering the mass, Amarlie started having unexplained seizures and she was immediately flown to Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
Upon arrival at Queensland Children’s Hospital, Amarlie underwent a craniotomy – brain surgery in which a bone flap is temporarily removed from the skull to access the brain – to remove the mass.
After surgery, Amarlie was placed on a breathing tube in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, while her family waited by her bedside without any clarification as to why this was happening to their little girl.
It’s been a long journey with many tests, but Amarlie recently received an official diagnosis of cellular spindle cell tumour of the right temporal lobe. A spindle cell tumour is a cancerous tumour that develops in the bone or soft tumour.
While the diagnosis isn’t 100% confirmed due to the complexity of the cancer, many other types of tumours have been ruled out.
We frequently travel to Queensland Children’s Hospital for scans and tests and to see her doctor in the hope he might have answers for us, but at this stage, we believe it is a cellular spindle cell tumour, which is often found in adult brains, not children’s”.
Her tumour is unusual, as it doesn’t appear to have come from brain tissue itself, but from tissue in the same vicinity.
Amarlie’s health troubles have had a huge impact on the family, having to travel from Gladstone to Brisbane every three months for MRIs, which takes a toll on their whole family as well as Amarlie’s baby brother, Rylan. However, the Children’s Hospital Foundation are there to help the family every step of the way.
I am lost for words to explain the impact the Foundation have made on us… having them a part of the journey has helped us all so much”.
Amarlie is currently under frequent surveillance at Queensland Children’s Hospital, as doctors are unsure how the tumour will behave.
Brain cancer claims the life of one Australian child every nine days – more than any other disease. Despite advances in other types of childhood cancer, survival rates for brain cancer have made little progress over the past 30 years. The Children’s Brain Cancer Centre aims to change that. Our goal is to improve the survival and survivorship of children with brain cancer.
We are proud to fund the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre and your support helps our mission for a future without brain cancer.