WARRIOR: Jonni, at just 20-months-old, is battling kidney cancer.
WARRIOR: Jonni, at just 20-months-old, is battling kidney cancer. Contributed

'Grapefruit' size tumor found on brave toddler's kidney

IT'S admittedly a long road ahead for little Jonni who, at less than two years old, is proving age is no indication of her resilience.

The 20-month-old toddler was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer when doctors found a Wilms tumour the size of a 'grapefruit' on her kidney.

'Oncology' is not a word any parent wants to hear, and Jonni's mum Taryn Soper admits it's been distressing time for her and husband, Grice, who has been forced to drive back and forth from the Ronald McDonald House where his girls are staying.

Torn between being by his daughter's bedside and providing for the family, Grice runs a local plumbing business.

Jonni began chemotherapy in Sydney around nine weeks ago.

"It has been a very emotional and traumatic time for all of our family," Taryn admitted.

"It is hard to find the balance or to know what to do in such serious circumstances."

Jonni underwent surgery to remove the tumour around two months ago, and it appeared to be relatively smooth sailing for her to be able to come back home to enjoy Easter with family, which also includes big sister Billie, aged five.

But the family were airlifted back to Sydney just this Monday after she suffered a significant bleed from her kidney surgery.

"We are just playing the waiting game hoping it is flushed out of her system and she recovers," Taryn told the Advocate from her daughter's bedside.

Jonni will undergo chemotherapy treatment for another 12 months before she can be considered in remission.

"It is surreal and scary a lot of the time but we are trying to remain positive and strong for her.

"She has been through the works and still has a long road ahead with making sure the maintenance which comes with chemotherapy runs smoothly.

"A temperature over 38 degrees puts her in hospital for a minimum of 48 hours attached to a line inserted in her portacath with antibiotics running through.

"We are not out of the woods yet."

To help support the well known Nana Glen family, friends have set up a fundraising page to help with travel costs, and the costs of the weekly chemotherapy treatments.

"Our family and friends have been unbelievably supportive and we feel very grateful for everything. The oncology team in Sydney are absolutely amazing," Taryn said.

"I hope anyone else who goes through such hard circumstances reaches out for support as we have now done.

"We have met the purest of people during this time."


Family and friends of Jonni have begun fundraising to help the family with travel and medical costs.

If you're interested in making a donation, click here.

Clarence MP tells Barnaby Joyce to stick to own turf

premium_icon Clarence MP tells Barnaby Joyce to stick to own turf

Anti-abortion robocalls prompt Gulaptis to speak out

Essential Energy job cuts on hold

premium_icon Essential Energy job cuts on hold

Labor says a temporary halt offers no reassurance.

A message of thanks signed from the island

premium_icon A message of thanks signed from the island

How an island boy was taught to communicate for the first time