Dialog Box

25 July 2017

Kayne's story

Bouncy, bright-eyed Kayne was a typically playful and curious toddler - until he started displaying worrying symptoms. Mum Dani took him to the local hospital time and time again, only to be told it was 'just reflux' - until one day, she refused to leave without an answer.

Meet Kayne

Shortly before he turned two, a normally happy and playful Kayne suddenly became unsteady on his feet. He would sit up and vomit in the morning and screamed in pain at night.

"I knew something wasn't right - but I never thought it could be cancer." 

Dani, Kayne's mum

A nightmare wait

A CT scan at the local hospital revealed a mass in Kayne's cerebellum and he was put straight into intensive care. Dani had to wait six agonising weeks for the pathology results.

"Those six weeks were a living nightmare. Kayne had to learn to walk all over again."

Dani, Kayne's mum


Kayne was diagnosed with an Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumour (AT/RT) - a very rare type of brain cancer. He was rushed to Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick for emergency surgery.

Brain tumours are the second-most common type of cancer to affect children and the most fatal of all childhood cancers, making them an immediate priority for Children’s Cancer Institute.

Dani was told that if Kayne's tumour had been left untreated, he would have only had two weeks to live.


Chemotherapy was very rough on Kayne's little body. He got ulcers in his mouth and bowel and the nerves in his feet were affected - meaning he stopped walking for the second time.

"Personalised medicine offers a more structured approach to treatment for kids like Kayne with high-risk brain cancers and other high-risk malignancies." 

Professor Michelle Haber AM
Executive Director, Children's Cancer Institute

Kayne today

Kayne has been in remission since the end of 2014 and today has a big smile on his face. His future remains uncertain, however, as there is no chemotherapy option if he relapses.

We are currently undertaking a research program to establish tailored therapeutics for children like Kayne with high-risk brain tumours.

Category: News

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