Harry’s courage inspires family to help others
HARRY Wiseman is proof not all superheroes wear capes - some wear a cheeky grin and take adversity in their stride.
The four-year-old from Warner was diagnosed with brain cancer after waking one Sunday morning with a severe ear ache. Later that day, he started vomiting and was so dizzy he had trouble walking.
His mother, Amanda, says she took him to Prince Charles Hospital emergency department, where she was told he had a severe ear infection.
Amanda says "it just didn't feel right" so she took him to see their GP in a bid to stop the vomiting.
"He couldn't walk and had a terrible look in his eyes," she says.
They later returned to Prince Charles Hospital and he was admitted overnight. By the following morning, he was really unwell and was transferred to the Queensland Children's Hospital, where he had a MRI and a mass was discovered on the right side of his brain, at the back.
Harry was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, called Ependymoma, on November 13 last year and has since had the tumour removed and 33 bouts of radiation therapy - each requiring a general anaesthetic.
"During radiation, we told him he was becoming a superhero and he would flex his muscles," Amanda says smiling.
She says doctors are happy with his progress and the way he has responded to surgery and radiation therapy. He will have scans every four months, for the foreseeable future, to check the cancer isn't returning.
"He's doing really well and he's just got his energy levels back," Amanda says.
It's been a tough year for the Wisemans, including Harry's dad, Glenn, and younger sister, Mila, 2, but the support they've received from family, friends and the Brainchild Foundation has pulled them through.
They now want to give something back so the foundation can help other families and fund research into brain and spinal cord cancers. It will start with a fundraiser at the Eatons Hill Hotel on October 12.
"It's been the worst time ever," Amanda says. "I cry myself to sleep thinking about the other families we've come across that are in a far worse situation than we are. I just can't sit back and not do something. I'm not a doctor or scientist but I need to know I've done everything I can to raise money for research."
If the event is a success, Amanda says she would like to run it as an annual or biannual event.
"The outcome we've had with Harry and despite all the risks with the surgery and radiation … we've been so lucky," she says. "He is a superhero. We told him he was becoming one but, in our eyes, he was already one."
HARRY'S HEROES BRAINCHILD
What: Fundraiser for the Brainchild Foundation, with lucky door prize, entertainment, raffles, auctions, canapes and a drink on arrival
Where: Eatons Hills Hotel (function room in the accommodation tower)
When: October 12, 7pm
Visit: eventbrite.com.au and search for