Marmaduke’s Story highlights the importance of holistic care for all members of the family when a children is diagnosed with a potentially life-limiting illnesses such as cancer. In this latest moving Little Stars movie we hear the first hand account of family members reflecting on the importance of children’s palliative care, including home-based care and effective pain control for childhood cancer patient Marmaduke from Melbourne, Australia.
Marmaduke was diagnosed with childhood cancer at 15 months of age. He was treated with chemotherapy for 3-4 cycles followed by surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital, the treatment ultimately ended with what professionals termed ‘sledgehammer chemo’. After 10 months Marmaduke was declared “in the clear”. Three months later, during a family holiday, Marmaduke’s mother Millsom found a lump of her breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Four days before Millsom finished chemotherapy, Marmaduke relapsed with the presentation of an aggressive tumor.
With amazing fortitude, Marmaduke’s father, Simon Waring, states, “We decided to live in the moment and bring him home and he spent four or five months having a fantastic time.”
When Marmaduke’s condition became terminal, home-based palliative care and the effective treatment of his pain became critically important. The strong pain relief Marmaduke received at home was essential to his quality of life.