Some of you may remember the familiar faces of siblings, Bryson and Ryder from last year’s Light Up Xmas Appeal.
The brothers are the youngest of four boys, and both needed life-saving treatment for rare brain conditions.
At just two-and-a-half years old, Bryson was diagnosed with a tennis-ball sized brain tumour and required urgent surgery. His tumour was cancerous, and he required six months of intense chemotherapy to stop it from returning.
“I was a mess. He was so little. I just wanted to wheel the tumour out of his head into my own. I thought, ‘just make it come to me. I’m bigger. I’m grown,’” said mum, Tamara.
After Bryson’s journey, Tamara and Grant had never imagined they would need the care of another hospital, but five years later, their premature baby Ryder, was rushed to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick with a dangerous bacterial infection. At just 2 weeks old, Ryder needed brain surgery to save his life.
“We ended up in the hands of Dr Erica Jacobson, who is my angel. She said, ‘I can’t make any promises to you, but I’m going to try my best,’” added Tamara.
Ryder made it through the surgery, but he had lost most of the left front region of his brain.
Over the next year, Tamara and Grant were back and forth between Bryson’s cancer check-ups at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, where Ryder went on to have 13 life-saving brain surgeries.
Fast forward to today, and Bryson, 8 and Ryder, 3 ½, are both growing up fast.
While still suffering the after-effects of chemotherapy and tumour removal, Bryson is a very active child who loves running around with his older brothers, roller skating and playing football.
Ryder continues to amaze his parents with how well he has been doing. As a result of his condition, Ryder has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. He still has his ups and downs, but regardless of what he’s going through, you can’t wipe the cheeky grin off his face.
Both boys are happy, and Tamara and Grant say they are blessed to have all their kids.
It’s with thanks to the support of our donors, that we can achieve amazing things for sick kids like Bryson, Ryder, and their families.