Kacey Sanfilippo
Kacey Sanfilippo contributed

Mum's maternal instinct was right

TWO-YEAR-OLD Kacey Sanfilippo is fighting "sick blood".

The little girl's diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia came after her mother insisted on a blood test.

Kirsten Sanfilippo said she became concerned about Kacey when her personality altered and bruises started to appear on her body.

"I'd been worried about her for a few weeks, she wasn't herself and she was pale - she did have a couple of molars coming through," Mrs Sanfilippo said.

Bruises started to appear in odd places, on Kacey's arms, back and stomach.

But it was when purple dots also appeared that Mrs Sanfilippo feared meningococcal.

She and her husband, David, took their daughter to hospital but were told it was a viral rash; however, Mrs Sanfilippo questioned the doctors about the bruising.

"They said if we were concerned we could have a blood test done," she said.

With a pathology form in hand, Mrs Sanfilippo was preparing to take Kacey for testing when Cyclone Debbie interrupted her plans.

Tired of waiting, and knowing something was wrong, she asked a nurse friend what to do.

"She said to go straight to emergency and demand a blood test to be done there and then," she said.

Within an hour Kacey had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"I was told that I had been right to trust my mother's instinct," Mrs Sanfilippo said.

From there it was all go and Kacey and her parents were prepared to travel to Brisbane so the little girl could start cancer treatment and undergo further tests.

The Sanfilippos' lives changed on March 31; since then they have been sitting by their daughter's bedside wishing her cancer would disappear.

But there has been some good news. The type of cancer Kacey has is a common childhood form and statistics show the outcome may be better than with other cancers.

Mrs Sanfilippo said the constant observations made by the nurses and doctors were a lot for a two-year-old to take but she was getting used it.

An occupational therapist has designed a book for Kasey that talks about her "sick blood" and why she's in hospital.

The family will spend eight months in Brisbane, while Mr Sanfilippo travels back to Mackay for work.

"If everything goes well we should come back home and then, for the next 18 months, have monthly chemotherapy and visits to Brisbane every three months," Mrs Sanfilippo said.

The Sanfilippos are members of the Covered in Chrome car club and Kacey is a special "mascot" for the group.

Russel Soper, from Covered in Chrome, said an event held at the weekend raised over $2000 for Kacey.

"That was just the cash, there were hundreds of additional dollars raised through the Thermomix raffle and we had a number money boxes that were three-quarters full so we have left them until they get filled up at a number of coffee shops around Mackay," Mr Soper said.

About 130 cars and bikes took part in the event.

"In total I think we had in excess of 800 people come and go over the morning, it's a community down there and Kacey is our mascot," he said.

A GoFundMe page called "Kacey Sanfilippo Leukemia Fund" has also been set up and in the past eight days has raised over $20,000.

Mrs Sanfilippo said she had amazing neighbours who had organised the page is she was thankful to Covered in Chrome for everything they were doing. The money raised will go towards medical and travels costs.


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