News

Brave Ben's cancer battle

Benjamin Jessen, aged 1 at the time of the main photograph, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on August 16 and, inset, Benjamin (now 2) in hospital.
Benjamin Jessen, aged 1 at the time of the main photograph, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on August 16 and, inset, Benjamin (now 2) in hospital. Brenda Strong

BENJAMIN Jessen seems like any other 2-year-old boy to the outside world.

Happy and full of energy, he doesn't look like a cancer patient.

His mother Renee Jessen, of Gladstone, said it's hard to believe her son is sick.

"It hasn't slowed him down at all," she said.

"I'm chasing after him with the IV.

"He is blissfully ignorant I think."

She never imagined a few bruises on her son's legs would lead to this.

"At first I thought nothing of it," she said.

"I mean what 2-year-old boy isn't covered in dirt, snot and bruises?

"But the bruising got darker and even the slightest touch would bruise his skin."

On August 16 "paranoid first-time mother kicked in" so Renee took her son to a Gladstone doctor to have some bruises on Ben's legs looked at.

Worried it was a genetic blood condition, she insisted he undergo a blood test.

"I assumed that's what it was," she said.

But the results revealed something no parent should ever have to hear. Ben was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"My reaction was nothing short of shock, and then I guess adrenalin kicked in. I've been living off that for the last week while everything sinks in," she said.

On August 17, Renee, her husband Richard and Ben were on a Royal Flying Doctors' plane set for Brisbane.

"We just picked up and left," Renee said.

Ben underwent more tests at the Royal Children's Hospital before it was officially confirmed on August 18.

"It's been a rollercoaster," Renee said.

"But it's slowly starting to sink in."

She said Ben knows he's sick.

"We told him his blood is sick," she said.

He has now begun his first round of chemotherapy.

 

Ben's journey

Procedures he has undergone so far:

Lumbar puncture (to test the spinal/brain fluid for the leukemia)

Bone marrow biopsy (to confirm the diagnosis and check how everything is progressing)

Port-a-cath inserted (so he doesn't need a canula every time they need blood.. They access a small port in his chest)

2 platelet transfusions (to help clotting)

1 red blood transfusion

Daily blood tests

His first round of chemotherapy

 



We are not amused; seniors get man arrested in Warwick CBD

Photo Alex Leggett / Warwick Daily News

A MAN has been arrested in the Warwick CBD today.

Rose City revheads set to brave downhill ride

REV HEADS: Joshua and Isaac Gale have worked tirelessly to ensure their cart is up to scratch and ready for racing.

THERE'S only one day left to get your billy cart spruced up.

Century-old grave at church may contain human remains

Ian McNally with a chunk of timber adorned with brass fittings found in a 100-year-old grave site, uncovered under a concrete slab.

WORKMEN have made a gruesome discovery during an excavation.

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E6: Suckas Need Bodyguards review

Rosario Dawson and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E5: Just To Get A Rep review

Mahershala Ali, centre, in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E4: Step In The Arena review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual