Forget the socks or a new tie, the best Father's Day present for Sen. Const. Matt Turner will be waking to see the beaming smile of his healthy daughter Emily.
In 2010, Emily had surgery to remove an aggressive tumour that first showed physical symptoms two days before Christmas in 2009 when her sparkling blue eyes started shaking from left to right.
Two years on, Emily, 4, is in remission and is loving life.
Her story inspired a police charity called Bright Blue that is championed by WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan and has raised more than $750,000 since it was formed last year to buy medical equipment used to research childhood cancer.
Doctors told the Turners that Emily's symptoms might be caused by anything from astigmatism to encephalitis or worse. She was sent home, but by Christmas Day she was shaking uncontrollably.
Scans did not initially reveal tumours and Emily was started on steroids to treat encephalitis. But in late January, another scan revealed a tumour in Emily's chest that was a neuroblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms of childhood cancer.
"We got it just in time because once it gets into the lymph nodes it can be a totally different story," Sen. Const. Turner said.
Emily also has the rare opsoclonus-myoclonus ataxia syndrome - one of only two known cases in Australia - which is treated with a drug normally prescribed to arthritis sufferers. She started walking two days after starting on the medication and Sen. Const. Turner said she had not stopped since.
"It's a dream that she has come from where she was to where she is now," he said.
"It's amazing and I am forever grateful to the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses, cooks, the cleaners and everyone at Princess Margaret Hospital.
"Even through her treatment she never stopped smiling, she never stopped laughing. She is a beautiful girl with a really kind and generous nature."
Mr O'Callaghan heard Emily's story and launched Bright Blue with Sen. Const. Turner.
"When I was advised about Emily's condition, I found out about a number of police officers who also had children who were being treated at PMH with similar conditions," Mr O'Callaghan said.
Sen. Const. Turner said equipment at the Bright Blue Cancer Analysis Suite, at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, had put Perth on the map as a world leader in cancer research.
Mr O'Callaghan said the research could identify the right kinds of drugs to target tumours rather than potentially damaging young bodies through using a cocktail of drugs.The national Wall to Wall fundraising ride to commemorate fallen police officers starts on Friday.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.