Check in: Jacob and Riley

02 May 2022

You may remember brother and sister duo, Jacob and Riley from last year’s Sydney Sick Kids Appeal. Both children were diagnosed with life-threatening diseases, and while Jacob was receiving long-term care at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Riley was receiving early-stage cancer treatment at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

At three-and-a-half years old Jacob was diagnosed with Lennox-Gastut Syndrome – an epilepsy with no known cure. Neurologists at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead explored different treatment options for months, including removing a small section of his brain.

A few years later the family found themselves back in the hospital, this time for three-year-old Riley. After experiencing multiple painful urinary tract infections, an ultrasound revealed she had a very rare type of kidney cancer. She began chemotherapy after undergoing life-saving surgery to remove her affected kidney.

“Both of my perfect, healthy-born kids missed precious moments in their childhood that they’ll never get back. Instead of spending their days at preschool, school, or playing in the local park with their friends, they were undergoing tests and treatment,” explains Brooke, Jacob and Riley’s mum.

Jacob and Riley still share an unbreakable bond. Riley is still in remission, back at school in Year One, and is absolutely loving every minute and thriving. She’s got a newfound passion for dancing and spending every spare minute on her feet! Jacob has had his ups and downs. The family of four is still in and out of hospital monitoring his constant seizures and preparing for a potential major surgery at the end of the year to hopefully help subside his condition. Despite this, Jacob still giggles and smiles – bringing so much joy into all their lives.

After raising an astonishing $66,000 in 2021, the family is still passionate about giving back and are once again supporting this year's Sydney Sick Kids Appeal – and you can too!

SCHF will launch its second Sydney Sick Kids Appeal in May, with the hope of raising much-needed funds for sick and injured children and their families receiving care across Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

Brook and Travis both know what it takes to ensure every child gets access to this remarkable care.

“It’s hard to comprehend a situation like ours, it’s pretty extreme,” Brooke says. “But if you found yourself in our position, you would want the best care for your child, and the only way to do that is access to the best equipment, care, and patient experience.”

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