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Worldwide search to save six-year-old boy's life

Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.
Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Contributed

A WORLDWIDE search is on to save the life of a six-year-old Sunshine Coast boy.

Micah Murdoch needs a bone marrow transplant as he battles Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

While many will never go through what Micah is, it's the second time he's fought the cancer.

When he was three-and-a-half he was first diagnosed with the disease which causes bone marrow to create too many lymphocytes, a certain white blood cell.

 

Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.
Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Contributed

The Bli Bli State School student overcame that battle and was enjoying the life of a normal young boy before a routine check-up in December, 2016 showed the cancer had returned.

He was admitted to Lady Cilento Children's Hospital four days later for what will be a six-to-nine month stay.

Micah was given some reprieve with a brief visit home recently, his first since he was admitted on December 5, to see his little sister Maya begin prep school, but the clock is now ticking.

Because his parents, Cathy and Jason, are an interracial couple, neither of them are suitable bone marrow donors.

Maya was recently tested and is also ineligible.

"It's really heartbreaking," Cathy said.

She said she "felt really bad" about being unable to go and spend time with her son, having to juggle working two jobs, while her little boy fights for his life.

Cathy said her husband was also missing out on plenty at home, spending his days with Micah in hospital, missing his little girl Maya and any time he did get at home was spent trying to organise bills and running the house.

"It's not quality time at all when we see him," Cathy said.

"It's a very tough time for sure."

Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, with his dad, Jason. Micah is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.
Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, with his dad, Jason. Micah is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Contributed

As the Murdoch's struggle to keep their family functioning, Micah's team of oncologists have begun to scour the globe to try and find a suitable donor.

The lifeline specialists are searching for is a donor of Filipino and European descent.

Cathy's close friend and colleague Cheryl Robinson has set up a Gofundme page to try and cover the costs of parking and travel to and from Lady Cilento for the young family, while the ultimate fundraising goal is to enable Cathy to take some time off work to be with her son.

"That would be wonderful," she said.

Cathy recalled their devastation when they heard Micah had relapsed, the little boy upset he never got to ring the bell at Lady Cilento to signal he was finished treatment and in full remission.

"That was the toughest time for us to hear about it," Cathy recalled.

"It really hit him hard with ulcers in his mouth and bottom after a double dose of chemotherapy."

Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, with his sister Maya. Micah is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.
Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, with his sister Maya. Micah is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Contributed

Cathy is working two part-time jobs to make ends meet, her husband Jason unable to work due to a back injury and a recent diagnosis of arthritis in his spine.

Cheryl said her friend, a carer and assistant nurse, was still working, caring for others, when she should be with her son, so their goal was to enable her to do that by taking away the financial pressures.

"I couldn't imagine being under that much stress," Cheryl said.

"She's (Cathy) a lovely lady, she's just such a beautiful, caring person.

"If they found the right match (bone marrow transplant) it'd make things a lot easier."

 

Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, with his family, mum Cathy, dad Jason and sister Maya. Micah is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.
Fighter: Micah Murdoch, 6, with his family, mum Cathy, dad Jason and sister Maya. Micah is fighting leukemia for the second time, but he desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Contributed

She said Micah had been devastated by missing school and losing clumps of his hair, while he was now wearing a colostomy bag.

"He's a brave little guy. He's been through a lot more than most of us," Cheryl said.

His dad, Jason, is dividing his time between the Ronald McDonald House in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, trying to provide support for both his children.

In a Facebook post on January 30 Jason gave an insight into how they coping.

"The situation is bad but we are all in good spirits," part of the post read.

"We haven't lost our humour.

"Currently Micah's in his second cycle of treatment, the ulcers in his mouth, stomach and bottom has taken our breaths away, thank you God for your wonderful morphine and great doctors and nurses."

Cathy said they were in for a long process and specialists had mentioned blood donors comitted to regular donations for Micah's transfusions would be very helpful, as they scour registers to try and find a suitable bone marrow donor.

To help the Murdoch family head to Gofundme.com and search Micah's fight against Leukemia.

If you believe you may be a suitable bone marrow donor head to abmdr.org.au.

A Facebook page 'A HERO 4 MICAH' has also been set up to find a mixed-Filipino descent donor who could save Micah's life.

Topics:  cancer children children's health community editors picks fundraising health hospital sunshine coast


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