Aidan is 13 and Kaelan is 7. Their younger brother Kai was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia on 26th March 2015, when he just was 2 years old. Kai battled the disease for nearly 2 years, including many months of isolation during which Aidan and Kaelan were not able to spend time with their brother.
Kai’s initial bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor put him into remission, but he sadly relapsed after less than a year. Following a second bone marrow transplant using his 12 month old brother Braedan’s stem cells, Kai relapsed a second time and the family were given the terrible news that there was nothing else that could be done to help Kai. His mum and dad took him home on 23rd December 2016 so that he could spend one last Christmas with his family. Aidan and Kaelen both spent time with Kai during his final days, and helped make his last Christmas truly special. Kai passed away at home on 12th January 2017, two weeks before he would have turned 4 – and just two days before Aidan’s birthday.
These two gorgeous boys not only lost their beautiful brother, they also lost two years of the family life that most of us take for granted.
Kai was so lucky to have his two amazing older brothers, they adored him so much. While Kai was sick, the boys’ parents had to spend most of their time at the hospital. This meant that Aidan and Kaelan got to spend lots of time with Nanna and Grandy, but time spent with both their mum and dad was limited. They never ever complained. The boys would go and visit Kai whenever they could, and hospital became their second home. They would play Xbox with their little brother, dance with him, play hide and seek in his small hospital room, play games and go out of their way to make him laugh. The boys worshipped Kai and he them.
When Kai was in isolation, Aidan and Kaelan would video call him and spend evenings cheering him up. When Kai was in pain they would be so gentle with him. They would cuddle Kai, kiss him and elicit smiles from him when no one else could. Yet even during this incredibly trying time, both boys continued to excel at school.
A few days before Kai’s funeral, Aidan was admitted to hospital with appendicitis. He had his appendix removed, but all he was concerned about was making sure that he was there to say goodbye to his brother.
At the funeral Aidan and Kaelan both stood up in front of over 400 people to read speeches they had each prepared for their brother. They were so brave and spoke beautifully, sharing the memories they hold so dear.
For the past two years the boys have both taken part in the World’s Greatest Shave, and they are doing so again this March. They have raised many thousands of dollars for the Leukaemia Foundation by shaving their hair off. They have encouraged their school friends and teachers to do the same, and are determined to keep raising funds and awareness for leukaemia.