Ruby was only seven months old when she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Before Ruby had even turned one, she had endured six intensive rounds of chemotherapy, multiple lumbar punctures and major surgery. For Ruby’s parents, Emma and Joel, their lives were soon consumed with platelets, blood pressure, infections, hospital visits, blood counts and test results – the list goes on…
Emma soon discovered her greatest struggle was the inability to control the situations. The hardest part of Ruby’s condition was knowing that tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Three out of ten children diagnosed with this rare form of leukaemia are unable to recover from it. Ruby did however – she completed treatment when she was one year old and was deemed low risk. She went into remission for fourteen months.
But one and a half years later, she woke up with vomit in her bed. What seemed to be ‘normal’ childhood sickness would soon be discovered instead to be something far more serious – the beginnings of a leukaemia cluster on her brain. Ruby had relapsed.
The doctors advised an aggressive treatment program to commence immediately, including two high-dose rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, which took place in December 2015.
But this little hero didn’t need a superpower to get to where she is today – why, she is super, and powerful already! While she doesn’t enjoy going to hospital, she never complains and always reassures mum, that she’s a-ok. One day after being in surgery all day, all Ruby wanted to do was go ride her bike! Nothing can stop this little one!
Little does she know, but Ruby Doob (her secret hero identity!) has been an incredible source of strength for Emma, who, with her super feisty personality and willingness to keep smiling, means mum gets some of Ruby’s superhuman strength to never give up, and to continue smiling – a motto mum lives by and would like to share with those experiencing similar situations.
Ruby is now four years old – 18 month post-transplant, in kindy and a wonderful ambassador for Perth Children’s Hospital. She is stronger and braver than Wonder Woman and Superman combined!
Now she can really enjoy her happy place – playing in the backyard with big brother Chayse, as well as filling her pram up with her favourite things… her dollies – all twelve of them at that!
When she grows up, she dreams of being a princess with beautiful long hair. We already know she’s got the first part down-pat, and the second part… she’s on her way there!
You can purchase prints of Ruby’s artwork here.