Zoe's Story

Imagine your child has battled leukaemia, and now they are starting school – and face a terrifying new battle.

Cancer took away 3-year-old Zoe’s childhood. This bubbly little girl coped bravely with years of intense chemotherapy, in and out of hospital.

To prevent deadly infection, Zoe could not go to kindergarten, mix with children at the park, or have play dates. For years.

“It was so shocking. My beautiful little girl was going to be stuck at home with cancer and no social activities, no other children in her life.” Charlotte, Zoe’s mum.

100% of children with cancer face disruptions to their learning and development.

Please donate to help children like Zoe access our Early Intervention Playgroup – and protect them from losing more years to cancer.


Your tax-deductible gift can help provide urgent support for children living with cancer, like Zoe, so they don’t get left behind their peers.

You’ll help kids like Zoe get access to the education they deserve.

The cancer nightmare began the day Zoe and her family moved to Adelaide, and she developed a high fever.

Her parents Charlotte and Stuart were sure it wasn’t serious – but Zoe’s test results were very worrying. A doctor broke shocking news: Zoe had leukaemia.

Zoe needed urgent cancer treatment to save her life – and there were years of treatment ahead.

“We were just blindsided.”

Charlotte had to call Zoe’s new kindergarten with the terrible news.

“I had to tell them she had cancer – and I didn’t know when she could start.”

You can protect a child like Zoe from the heartbreak of losing more years to cancer. Please help fund our Early Intervention Playgroup by donating today.


Zoe needed intense chemotherapy at hospital and home. She endured many procedures, treatment made her weak, and one time she got so sick she was in intensive care.

Over time, Zoe’s body began to cope with treatment. But in other ways, things got much harder then.

Because a common cold could be deadly for Zoe, she had to stay at home to keep safe from infection.

She didn’t get to go to kindergarten, the playground and on playdates. She was missing out on physical, social, emotional, language and literacy skills that all children need to thrive and the missed learning opportunities were taking a devastating toll.

“I kept thinking ‘How is she going to learn how to have friends and play with other children? Surely hospital visits can’t be the only time she’ll get to see other kids in the next few years?”

Please give today to help a child with cancer attend our Early Intervention Playgroup – so they get every chance to thrive.


A life-changing moment came when we invited Zoe to our Early Intervention Playgroup. There she could finally experience all that fun, joy and wonder she’d been missing for so long.

There were lots of exciting activities. Zoe got to practice her social skills in a safe place, free from infection, with other children who also had cancer for the very first time.

She loved playing at a little toy café where she’d serve her friends pretend food. They were learning to help, share, listen and connect.

Zoe also learnt skills she’d need at school soon, like holding a pencil and cutting with scissors.

“Meeting other kids with bald heads, feeding tubes and wheelchairs was powerful, we felt more normal. Other families were going through this - we were no longer doing this alone.”

Thanks to support from people like you, at the Early Intervention Playgroup, Zoe’s educators could ensure she was as ready as she could be for school.

As a result of her time at the Early Intervention Playgroup, Zoe is thriving at school today.

However, there are many more young children living with cancer, waiting to access our Early Intervention Playgroup.

Please give to ensure a child like Zoe can access the Early Intervention Playgroup, so they don’t get left behind their peers?


Thank you for believing that children with cancer deserve more than a cure. Each child should get to live a life of fun, joy and wonder and be given the education they deserve!

You can support families just like Zoe's by making a donation today.

$40 = To gift an Elliot, a soft toy dog, into the arms of every child having cancer treatment, to bring love and comfort on the toughest days.

$125 = Help fund our Early Intervention Playgroup, so young children with cancer, like Zoe don't get left behind their peers.


Watch Thomas’s Story

Watch this 5 minute film where Chris Hartley talks through his family’s journey after his son’s diagnosis of a brain tumour and the support he received from the Childhood Cancer Association.

View film

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