Ben's long way home
BEN BAKER-Whalley's last round of chemotherapy might be over, but it's not the end of his journey battling the germ cell tumour in his brain.
With the Helping Hands Trivia night only days away, his mum Vicky Baker said she had been overwhelmed with the support their family has received, but both her and Ben won't be able to make the fundraider.
"We can't come home, we're not allowed to come home," she said.
The Grafton teenage can only come home when he is at the 'top of his cycle', which is at about day 18 or 19 of his 21 days of chemo.
While he's just finished his final round of chemo, he will start radiation soon, which he will get Monday to Friday for 30 sessions.
"He will be having radiation in his head and also in his spine because he had tumour markers there," she said.
Recently, Ben and Vicky came home when her daughter graduated from year 12 and her granddaughter turned one.
"The previous time we came home was for my daughter's 21st birthday," she said.
"But before he was allowed to go, he has to have full blood done to see where he is at to make sure his immunity has come back up.
"He had to have platelets and the time before he had to have a blood transfusion."
Vicky said the best thing people could do was to give blood.
"They use blood products all the time," she said.
"Some kids have them every week or sometimes twice a week."
"They hope to be home by Christmas - and Vicky is excited to return to their home.
"I'm so looking forward to it," she said. "When you're in your own bed, and the supermarket is only two minutes away.
"City life is very very different to country life."
Vicky was so thankful to everyone who had helped raise money for their family and the people who organised the trivia night.
The trivia night is on Thursday from 6.30pm. Tables of eight are available for booking from the Grafton District Services Club. There are still a few tables available.