Gladstone boy in cancer battle still smiling
AFTER three and half years of chemotherapy, Max Hoiberg is still smiling.
In and out of hospital during that time, the possibility of being in remission in just a few months has made Max an even happier and hopeful young man.
The 12-year-old was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2013. He was out riding and had fallen off his motorbike. Thirty minutes later, his mum came home from work to find him covered in bruises.
"I fell off my motorbike," he said.
Mum Bou McKay said she knew it was something else given that bruises of that colour don't develop that quickly.
"I had a friend who had the same bruises who was diagnosed with leukaemia," she said.
"We went to the doctor, got some blood tests and by midnight we had paramedics knocking on our door wanting to take him to the hospital."
Max's case was aggressive and fast acting, he was flown to the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane where he has been undergoing treatment.
"Not once has he complained, or said 'why me', he has always stayed positive even at his lowest during chemo," Bou said.
"While he was in hospital he made friends with other kids with leukaemia, and sadly some of them have passed away. He says he feels lucky to still be here."
The good news for Max is that he currently has no leukaemia cells in his body, and by early next year if nothing changes, he will be in remission.
Max will be starting high school next year, and is keen to get back into football, meet his new teachers and get on with life.
It would mean so much to him if by high school he could stop taking the tablets," Bou said.
There will be a fundraiser at the Yeppoon Golf Club on Friday to raise money for Childhood Cancer Support that provides families with free housing close to the children's hospital.
Max's family stayed in a unit and are forever grateful to the organisation.
"With the costs of everything else and paying off our mortgage and having other kids we would not have been able to adfford to rent somewhere in Brisbane," Bou said.
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