Parent's 'incredible' strength as brave bub fights cancer
DAVIS Kendall spent his first birthday strapped to a drip in hospital, his little body being pumped with chemotherapy, caught up in the fight of his young life.
His Woombye parents Nathan Kendall and Haylee Lipinski have been a constant at his bedside, hoping and praying their brave little man continues to battle against the cancer.
The young couple had been planning on having more children, getting married and taking a holiday, But all of that has been put on hold for the next two-and-a-half years.
Ms Lipinski said the problems with Davis began on July 30, when they noticed swelling around his jaw which they assumed was his molars coming through.
The swelling spread to his ears and eye and the couple took him to Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Hours later he was being raced to the Queensland Children's Hospital where he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. It is a disease that affects one in 250 children every year.
"You never think it will happen to you, not your kid. You hear of cancer affecting children, but not a baby," Ms Lipinski said.
"We are so devastated. We were actually going to try for another baby. It's just a huge wake-up call.
"When the doctors told us to come into the room, we looked at each other and just knew something (bad) was coming."
While the doctors don't know for sure, the early signs for Davis have been positive. He is fighting, but there's a chance more cells haven't yet been detected.
However, it's taken a toll on his body and his future is unknown.
"Honestly, he was the happiest little kid. He'd make friends with everyone, always smiling," Ms Lipinski said.
"But now, everyone who comes into the room is there to poke or prod him. He is too young to understand what's happening.
"He doesn't smile any more, he just cries when people come near him.
"It's been f---ing rough. We can't take him out of the ward because he is so susceptible to getting sick.
"He goes from being really sleeping or just waking up crying."
Remarkably, the young couple have shown resilience.
"I think we have reached that point where we have cried it all out. We still get upset but are cracking on," Ms Lipinksi said.
But Mr Kendall will soon return to work in Caloundra, and with bills piling up, he can't afford to travel down each day.
Loved ones and the community have rallied to help the young family. A crowd funding campaign has raised more than $1700 to help their journey.
Caroline Wallace said both Haylee and Nathan had shown "incredible strength" and stayed strong as possible through all the ups and downs they faced.
"The love they have for each other and Davis is admirable. I couldn't imagine being in their shoes right now," Ms Wallace said.
"Davis' diagnoses has impacted everyone who knows them but Haylee and Nathan are the only ones who are living it day and night.
"They have a long, hard journey to recovery ahead of them but they will get through this and come out the other side stronger.
"We all have so much love for the family and we are behind them every step of the way."
Well-wishers say donating is the "least they can do" for a much-loved family.
"Nathan would give the shirt off his own back for anyone," Kristian Mahony posted.
"Nathan is always someone that has made me smile and I know he would do the same for me," Michael Ashkar posted.
"We are with you all the way, you are not alone on this journey," Jason Rayner said.