Mia's Story - 12 Days of Christmas Giving Appeal

19 Nov 2020

Mia hopes to inspire a Christmas of Giving 

2020 has been a very challenging year for most people in our community. However, it has been especially stressful for the Sherwell family, as they navigated cancer treatment and care for their little girl Mia throughout a world-wide pandemic.

In July 2018, the Bannnockburn family received the news that turned their world upside-down in an instant.

Mia had been unwell for around 10 days. They had taken her to the GP several times with fevers and night sweats. She was extremely pale, lethargic, she had a few minor nose bleeds, and little appetite.

It is an awful feeling for Mum, Andrea, knowing something isn’t quite right, but being completely helpless.

“After a trip to the Emergency Department and a number of tests, our beautiful little two-year-old girl Mia was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

As parents we were devastated and nothing could ever prepare us for hearing that your child has cancer or what the journey ahead would be.

I have come across a quote that states ”The day before my child was diagnosed, I wasn’t a cancer parent either”. This completely resonates with me, as we never believed that it could happen to us,” she says.

Christmas is full of inspiration— this Christmas Mia is hoping to inspire the community to support the Barwon Health Foundation’s Twelve Days of Giving Campaign to fund vital medical equipment and patient comfort and care including music therapy for young patients and  support for programs such as the Maternity Family Bereavement program.

Mia is nearing the end of the treatment she has bravely endured for 845 days.

During this time, she has had many different chemotherapy drugs, numerous types of steroids, 23 general anaesthetics, 22 lumbar punctures, several bone marrow aspirations, countless blood tests and finger pricks, 14 red blood cell transfusions, 10 platelets transfusions, four IVIG transfusions, a number of surgeries, many dressing changes, and around 120 nights of admissions in hospitals.

Not only has she had to deal with this often-relentless treatment, but there are also many procedures and side effects that come hand-in-hand with it.

The Sherwell’s journey was made so much easier by receiving chemotherapy treatment and care on the Cotton On Children’s Ward at University Hospital Geelong. Having this treatment close to our home in Bannockburn made a big difference to Mia, her five-year-old brother  Caleb, and the rest of her family.

This year, many children and babies just like Mia and many adults will be spending time in hospital over Christmas.

As parents, Andrea and Matt have seen first-hand the life-saving and life-enhancing care that happens at Barwon Health every single day.

“I am asking the community, if you can, to support the Barwon Health Foundation’s Twelve days of Christmas Appeal to help patients just like our Mia.

By donating or purchasing an item from the Christmas Wish List, you can help fund vital medical equipment, as well as comfort and care items that will bring joy to people spending Christmas in the care of Barwon Health.

Nobody wants to spend Christmas in hospital; however, if you or a loved one do find yourself at University Hospital Geelong this festive season, I can assure you the amazing staff there will provide you with the very best care.”

The Barwon Health Foundation’s greatest wish this Christmas is to provide the comfort and care needed for those spending time in hospital this festive season.

Please donate today to the Barwon Health Foundation’s Twelve Days of Giving Campaign, helping to support the comfort and care of patients spending time in hospital this Christmas.

Click here to donate today.