FIGHTING FOR LIFE: William in happier times.
FIGHTING FOR LIFE: William in happier times. Contributed

Famous blogger gets behind boy's fight for life

TWO weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital.

A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs and doctors' hold grave concerns.

 

HOLDING ON: Two weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital. A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs.
HOLDING ON: Two weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital. A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs. Contributed

On January 11, the almost-one-year was struggling to breathe when his parents Joe Wheeler and Lauren Baldwin rushed him to Bundaberg Hospital.

At first doctors thought he may have had asthma - but on closer inspection they realised it was something more sinister.

Scans revealed a 7cm tumour wrapped around his organs and the main artery to his heart.

 

HOLDING ON: Two weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital. A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs.
HOLDING ON: Two weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital. A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs. Contributed

Immediately he was flown to Brisbane Children's Hospital.

It was touch-and-go as William almost lost his fight for life while in the oncology ward and was rushed to intensive care.

His parents are clinging to hope their third son will keep fighting and doctors will be able to treat the tumour.

 

HOLDING ON: Two weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital. A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs.
William and his brothers Ryan and Sam Wheeler. Contributed

From a bedside vigil, his mum said he was stabilised with enough drugs to knock out two adults.

She remained positive and said it was a shock that her otherwise healthy baby now had stage four, high risk neuroblastoma cancer.

Ms Baldwin said at this stage doctors weren't sure how to treat the cancer as William was high risk because of the tumour's size and position.

 

HOLDING ON: Two weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital. A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs.
HOLDING ON: Two weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital. A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs. Contributed

"William is strong and he is doing his best," his mum said.

"He has had five surgeries in the last two weeks."

Taking strength from her son, Ms Baldwin wanted to spread the word about how easy it was for a family's world to fall apart from cancer.

This week she should be at home with her partner getting her eldest son Ryan ready for his first day of Prep, instead she holds on to William's hand in hope of a miracle.

"We all just thought it was asthma - but it turned out to be something no parent would ever dream of," she said.

"I won't lie, it is quite traumatising.

"Joe and I know we will be separated now for the long haul as William is expected to remain in hospital for about a year. It seems silly, but it's the small things that kill me.

"I won't be home to make Ryan's lunch for his first day and he went to get his hair cut for school and I wasn't there."

 

HOLDING ON: Two weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital. A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs.
HOLDING ON: Two weeks ago Bundaberg baby William Wheeler was learning how to walk, now he is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital. A large tumour is wrapped around his vital organs. Contributed

Bring separated has taken a toll on the family and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help support them.

"We don't really have a strong family network around us and Joe is in Bundy with the two boys and I am here with William," Ms Baldwin said.

The GoFundMe was set up last week and gained momentum after the word was spread around by famous Instragramer Revvie Jane.

With more than 181K followers, donations started to flow.

"I don't actually know Revvie, but a Gladstone friend told the mummy blogger about William," she said.

"We are overwhelmed by the support. Now we just cling to hope."

They family will need as much help as they can get.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so by going to www.gofundme.com/gesmd-baby-william.