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25 July, 2019

Positive signs for Mareeba’s Gia

NOT too many people have showed greater resolve in the face of adversity than that of Mareeba local Gia Smith, who has battled admirably since being diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia last year.

By Rhys Thomas

NOT too many people have showed greater resolve in the face of adversity than that of Mareeba local Gia Smith, who has battled admirably since being diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia last year.

After numerous months spent in Brisbane receiving some of the best cancer treatment in the country, Gia has returned home to Mareeba – much to the delight of many within the community.

Gia’s mother Regan Smith said Gia’s health status is positive.

“She has done really well in conquering the most intensive chemotherapy in her protocol and is currently in a phase called ‘Maintenance’,” Mrs Smith said.

“This phase is less intense chemo although she requires chemo every day and this will be finished on March 1, 2021.

“We will be having the biggest celebration that day and I guess we will go from there.”

Mrs Smith said she and Gia will travel to Brisbane once a month, with that frequency expected to lessen to three monthly visits by mid next year.

“On August 1 we return to Brisbane to receive one of her catch up doses of chemo that was out of stock world-wide along with a Lumbar puncher (chemo in spinal and brain fluid),” she said.

“Then we return home for a few weeks until the following month and hopefully another chemo shipment arrives.”

Mrs Smith said it has been very exciting to be based back home in Mareeba and living together as a family again.

“We have a totally new normal, but it works and our family and friends have been instrumental in making Gia’s life as normal as possible, there is just a lot more antibacterial hand sanitizers involved these days,” she said.

“Also, when her brother Oscar comes to appointments with us he always thanks the doctors and nurses for fixing his Gia which is so heart-warming for us.”

Mrs Smith said Gia’s strength, power, determination and comprehension of this situation has been mind-blowing.

“She has pushed through some really difficult days and has even asked us if we were okay,” she said.

“She is seriously our superhero.

“Gia understands why she needs to have her medication and she always thanks her nurses after her treatments and just adores her consultant Dr Chris Fraser who is the Director of Oncology at the Queensland Children’s Hospital.”

Mrs Smith took time to thank those who have helped throughout Gia’s exhausting ordeal.

“Since Gia’s diagnosis there has been so many amazing people, some we know and some we have never met who have been such a source of strength and support,” she said.

“We are so incredibly grateful now more than ever of our town and the people in it.

“We would like to thank our community as a whole, our family and friends, the Indie Rose foundation, the Generosity for Gia team and the amazing work of Gia’s local GP Dr Akil Islam.

“Karl, Oscar and I are really forever grateful.”

Gia met the Cairns medical team last week and will see them for regular check-ups in between Brisbane trips.

For those interested in helping Gia and her family in their fight, you can do so by giving blood.

“On August 29 and 31 we will be hosting another blood donation Yellow Party in Cairns which will not only help our Gia but plenty of other local families in need,” Mrs Smith said.

Please contact the Generosity for Gia Facebook page for more information.

It is safe to say that Gia’s show of strength has touched the hearts of the entire Mareeba community, and that is evident with the enormous support that has been given by residents throughout the region.


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