The Prouse family have been dealt a hand which most people could only conjure up in a nightmare - both father, Luke, and son, Logan, are fighting for their life.
Despite the duo’s uncertain prognoses, mother Amy Prouse considers her family, from Hocking in Perth, to be lucky, The West Australian reports.
Mr Prouse, 39, is facing aggressive radiation and the removal of his tongue to treat stage three tongue cancer - it is his third battle with cancer.
He beat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a child after a bone marrow transplant and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
A virus contracted from a blood transfusion however, caused his liver disease and his second cancer diagnosis, leaving him requiring surgery to have a whole lobe removed from his liver, as well as part of the other one.
The liver is divided into two lobes by a vein which runs down the centre and each lobe is made up of four sections.
Just as the family thought their health battles were behind them, Logan, aged six, was struck down by auto-immune condition acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.
The condition left the formerly healthy and active boy paralysed with an unknown virus extending down his spinal cord and causing longitudinal transverse myelitis.
He was left unable to walk or use his left arm, and endured a 10-week hospital stay and a further 10 weeks of rehabilitation.
After more than two months away, he was finally allowed to go home. But that was when his father once was delivered yet another cancer blow.
A tonic Mr Prouse drank to keep his liver disease at bay combined with a side effect of his bone marrow transplant called graft versus host disease, caused stage three tongue cancer.
Surgeons have already removed part of his tongue, and the family says he will soon undergo an operation to have it removed completely.
Currently he is being tube fed, and is in the midst of a six-week course of chemotherapy and radiation to treat the cancer.
Mrs Prouse has taken unpaid leave from her job as a nurse to look after her husband, Logan, and the couple’s younger son, Flynn, 3, but remains positive.
“Any of these outcomes could have been catastrophic in the wrong way. Our son’s alive and his brain is intact, he just can’t move the way other kids can. And Luke’s had three lots of cancer but he’s still alive,” she told the publication.
The family have been keeping their head above water with the help of other family members and fundraising through their GoFundMe account.
Their account, which was started two months ago had a goal of raising $2000 has far surpassed its goal by raising more than $14,400.
While uncertain of what the future will hold when he undergoes surgery to have his tongue removed, Mr Prouse said giving up had never been an option.
“I’ve been fighting my whole life, from when I was a young kid I have had that ingrained in me,” he told The West.
“While we have gone through so much, we are very grateful for what we have. As hard as things get, you should never forget your perspective on life.”
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