View Comments
Family heads to US for son s treatment
Danny and Leisl Stone with 22-month-old Jayden, diagnosed with a rare cancer. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

The Stone family will travel to the US for the first time on Saturday night but it is a trip they wish they didn't have to make.

East Fremantle couple Danny and Leisl Stone are taking a leap of faith by uprooting their children Layla, 10, Luke, 5, and two-year-old Jayden, in a bid to get the best possible treatment for their little boy. Jayden has been through extensive chemotherapy at Princess Margaret Hospital after he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer known as atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour.

Surgeons removed 99 per cent of the 3cm by 4cm tumour but the toddler requires continuing treatment.

The rare childhood tumour affects just three in a million in the US and sufferers have a 10 per cent survival rate.

Facing those stark statistics and having already put their son through weeks of confronting treatment, the Stones have decided to take the plunge and head to Chicago to try to save Jayden from the harmful side-effects of radiotherapy.

During two months in Chicago he will receive proton beam therapy - a treatment not available in Australia - which is considered a better alternative with fewer side-effects for children under three.

The travel and accommodation costs alone for the family are more than $40,000. They cannot afford the trip and will rely on the generosity of the community to get them there.