A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Brooke's family during her cancer surgery
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Brooke's family during her cancer surgery

UPDATE: Donations still pouring in for Balgowan family.

UPDATED JANUARY 9 2021:

Gayle Balgowan confirmed on January 7 that Brooke sailed through her surgeries and hopes to come back to Rockhampton for a short while before beginning radiation.

Ms Balgowan said her son and daughter-in-law are "overwhelmed but so very thankful" for the public's generosity.

Within days of the Morning Bulletin article, their GoFundMe page received an anonymous $10,000 donation.

No doubt it will be harder than ever to manage Brooke's treatment and family visits as the Brisbane area goes into lockdown

Donations small and sizeable continue to trickle in as CQ locals wish the Balgowans well and hope for Brooke's recovery.

ORIGINAL STORY:

All that Brooke Balgowan wanted for Christmas was time with her family in Rockhampton.

Now that dream's come true, she and her family are in for a rough couple of months.

The 21-year old's world was ripped apart three years ago when she was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Brooke's family during her cancer surgery
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Brooke's family during her cancer surgery

 

She has a fast growing grade 3 anaplaplastic ependymoma in her left parietal lobe.

Next Monday, on January 4, she will undergo a third round of surgery in Brisbane, followed by six weeks of radiotherapy.

Her husband Jacob will have to take time off his job at ARB where he fits car accessories, in order to stay by her side.

Having exhausted most his annual leave during Covid restrictions, it's no easy task to spend months apart from his family with a young son in tow.

Jacob's mother, Gayle Balgowan, has set up a GoFundMe page to support the couple.

To date, over $5,000 of the $8,000 has been pledged.

She said she's proud of her son for sticking with Brooke whom he met through friends before her diagnosis.

"Most men wouldn't have had the strength but Jacob's very genuine like that," she said.

"He'll stick with her through thick and thin."

The couple enjoyed a relatively normal few years following Brooke's first surgery, welcoming son Ryder into the world.

 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Brooke's family during her cancer surgery
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Brooke's family during her cancer surgery

 

 

But in an awful twist, he was diagnosed with global development delay just days before Brooke's symptoms returned the second time.

His condition is completely unrelated to his mother's cancer but it means Ryder needs special attention at times.

 

You can read Brooke's story and make a donation at https://www.gofundme.com/f/2krc2q-blessings-for-brooke?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer

 

You can find more information about ependymoma research at https://www.cern-foundation.org/