Community rallies for brave boy Cody
THIS year, a local family will spend Christmas far from home as their son undergoes treatment for a rare form of brain cancer.
Jubilee Pocket boy Cody Gibbs, 11, was diagnosed with cancer of the pineal gland in October.
Tumours in the pineal gland can block fluid channels, causing a build-up and increased pressure in the brain called hydrocephalus.
In July, Cody began experiencing symptoms including severe headaches and sickness that prevented him from sleeping.
While his mother, Donna Gibbs, was driving him to Townsville for a neurologist appointment, Cody fell extremely ill. He was taken by ambulance from Proserpine Hospital to Mackay Base Hospital where he had an MRI before being flown to Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.
With only weeks until Christmas, parents Donna and Dwayne Gibbs, had to leave behind their home, jobs and eldest daughter, Tia, so Cody could receive the urgent medical attention he needed.
His grandfather, Graeme Davis, said the brave young man had been "to hell and back”.
"He's just a resilient fellow. We can't believe how calm he's been. He's been told everything that's going on but he's a laid-back guy. He doesn't let too much worry him,” Mr Davis said.
"I can't stress enough the support from all over Australia really. It's amazing how people band together in times like this.” Last week, after the tumour increased in size, surgeons performed a risky operation and managed to remove the cancer.
However, after being released from hospital, Cody began to suffer from stomach sickness and was re-admitted on Tuesday.
In light of the ordeal, family friend of 20 years Kell Bruce started a GoFundMe page for Cody which has raised $15,418 in just over three weeks.
In a bid to further help the Gibbs family, an event called Cody's Carnival has been organised.
The fundraiser, with funky head shaves and braids, pony rides, jumping castles, a sausage sizzle and a silent auction, will be held at Jubilee Tavern on Sunday, December 16, from 10.30am-5pm.