Brave little Avery’s family struggles to fight illness
THIS is the face of bravery.
Two-year-old Avery Beal has just a 5-10% chance of survival after the leukemia she had been fighting since she was 11-months-old reappeared months before her second birthday.
The Buderim toddler was given the all-clear in July following a bone marrow transplant, but the blood cancer has returned.
Although the odds are stacked against the Beal family, they are determined to face each day with positivity.
To add to the family's woes, dad David said the lease on their rental property expires on January 13 and they have been told they will have to move out.
All of this is playing on their minds as Avery faces the battle of her life.
David said Avery had been on anti-rejection meds but the doctors had changed their approach following the relapse.
"At the moment, every month she is undergoing a bone marrow test to see what the leukaemia levels are like in her body," he said.
"In the two weeks following those tests, she's having lymphocytes (white blood cells) from her bone marrow donor that will be given to her to try to get things happening - it's a balancing act, and they are increasing the levels each week.
"In the test they did in November, her leukaemia levels were back up to the level they were at when we found the leukaemia again, so she's in a situation where she's still got a very low chance of getting through everything."
The family of eight have been left hanging in the balance while they await the results of the latest test Avery underwent on Thursday.
At home, Avery is like any average two-year-old.
The cheeky toddler has grown her hair back after chemotherapy treatment and is busy grabbing at everything in her reach and loves to doodle on anything she can when she finds herself with a pen in her hand.
Her favourite word is "mine" and David said she was busy staking her claim on anything and everything.
Since Avery's treatment began mid-last year the family of eight had been split in two, with mum Jen down in Brisbane with Avery and David in Buderim with her five siblings.
But Jen and Avery are now back on the Coast full-time, besides fortnightly doctors' appointments in Brisbane.
Although relieved that the family is back together again, David said Avery's biggest battle was only just beginning.
"People think the worst is behind us, but it's really not like that," he said.
"It's good to be back together as a family, but the stress and the journey that we're on is by no means over.
"At any stage things could really flare up and things could go downhill very quickly, but we are staying positive and always believed she's going to get better."
The family are taking a week-long holiday in New South Wales, to spend time with Jen's family in the lead up to Christmas.
But it will be far from a stress-free holiday.
The Beals have been documenting their story on their Support for Avery's Journey Facebook page.
David said he was heartened that they continued to receive new followers and people sending them their prayers and positive thoughts.
While the Beals have received a lot of help from locals, their biggest need is financial assistance.
If you wish to help the Beal family please go through PayPal. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
To follow Avery's journey visit www.facebook.com/averysupport.