Arlo was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) when he was just 15 weeks old. His mum noticed a couple of red rash-like dots on his feet and legs and took him to the emergency department at Queensland Children’s Hospital. Within three hours, she was told he had leukaemia.
Arlo has endured six months of intensive chemotherapy. He had many general anaesthetics, bone marrow aspirations, lumbar punctures, CTs, X-rays, blood transfusions, platelet transfusions and more. Arlo continues to experience the side effects of chemotherapy.
After finishing his sixth and final round of intensive chemo, he entered maintenance phase, which will continue until he is just over two years old.
Before being diagnosed, Arlo was a happy, active and alert baby. His parents found it such a shock to see him suddenly become so unwell, but they also marvelled at how resilient he was. He’s continuing to hit milestones, including rolling, sitting, and attempting to crawl. He’s just learnt to wave and clap and has two little teeth that have popped through.
During his treatment, Arlo’s parents agreed to donate some of his bone marrow cells to the Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank so researchers can use them to find better treatments for sick kids with leukaemia and brain cancers.
The Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank is an openly accessible paediatric tumour tissue bank. The facility aims to assist as many quality scientific projects as possible, both large and small, to increase knowledge about childhood cancer and improve outcomes for patients.
Since 2008, the Children’s Hospital Foundation has funded the Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank and it has banked more than 65,740 individual samples. Samples collected are disseminated to researchers in Australia and throughout the world for use in research projects.
Thanks to the collection of paediatric tissue samples, doctors have been able to find answers and develop new treatments for children with cancer, including neuroblastoma, leukaemia, and brain tumours.