Michael Daly and Candice Hayers with son Caleb — nicknamed Fred — who is having chemotherapy every 10 days as he battles leukaemia. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE
JUST days before Christmas, three-year-old Caleb Daly was diagnosed with cancer.
The next day he started chemotherapy – beginning a course of treatment that will continue for years.
“If I could just take it off him and take it for myself, I would have yesterday,” said his dad Michael Daly.
While his parents have taken on the constant task of caring for their son, a ripple of determination has also spread through the youngster’s Dunalley community.
The family has been swamped with moral support, offers of tangible help and this weekend the Dunalley Golf Club has organised a fundraiser.
His mum Candice Hayers said she was incredibly grateful for all the offers, and for people just being there.
“There has been so much support,” said Ms Hayers, who has given up her fulltime job to care for her son.
We are confident of beating it, but we have a bit of a road ahead of us – Caleb’s dad Michael Daly
Caleb was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, on December 20 last year.
The normally energetic boy had been a little tired and complained of aching legs.
“He was getting a little bit lethargic at times, but nothing alarming, just aching legs and a few bruises on him that we couldn’t explain,” Mr Daly said.
He said the diagnosis was “a rude shock”, with Caleb starting chemotherapy the next day.
“It’s been ongoing ever since.”
The chemotherapy started on a weekly basis and is now every 10 days.
Mr Daly said the long-term prognosis was favourable, but it was likely treatment would continue for the next three years.
“We are confident of beating it, but we have a bit of a road ahead of us,” he said.
To help financially support the family, the Dunalley Golf Club has organised a “car and bike cruise” fundraiser for tomorrow.
Anyone can enter their car or bike for a convoy that will travel from the Derwent Entertainment Centre at 10am, arriving at the Dunalley Golf Club at noon for a barbecue.
Participants are asked to donate $20 and be at the DEC by 9.30am.
Organiser Liz Ratcliffe, from the golf club, said people who could not be part of the cruise were still welcome to come along to the barbecue, where there also would be a jumping castle and face painting.
If you would like to donate, please contact the Dunalley Golf Club. Phone 6253 5887 or email Dunalleygolfclub@gmail.com.