Zahli’s Story

Every day in Australia, two families receive the heartbreaking diagnosis that their child has cancer, just like Zahli (11).

Earlier this year, Zahli sat with her parents Jason and Steph in their hometown of Streaky Bay and faced the devastating news that she had been diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma – an aggressive and rare type of bone cancer.

Zahli after undergoing a gruelling five-hour operation to remove 16cm of bone in her lower leg.

Image: Zahli after undergoing a gruelling five-hour operation to remove 16cm of bone in her lower leg.

When Zahli turned to her parents and said, “Am I going to die?” all her doctor was able to say was, “I can’t tell you whether you are or not, but I can tell you we’re going to try and do our best to make everything better for you.”

A large, cancerous tumour had grown in Zahli’s leg, dealing a crushing blow to the active preteen accustomed to skateboarding, surfing and running amok with her brothers Connor (12) and Kai (8). It was a shocking discovery at a doctor’s appointment following months of ongoing pain in her leg.

Jason and Steph still had to deliver the heartbreaking news to Zahli’s brothers.

Jason says, “It was pretty hard to explain that she had cancer, that’s for sure, but the boys have both been amazing.”

Zahli’s health quickly became the family’s priority and within weeks they packed up their lives and relocated to Adelaide to be closer to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital for treatment.

Jason explains, “We just don’t have the hospital facilities in Streaky Bay. It’s 700km from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and if Zahli happens to get sick overnight we want her to be in the best spot possible, which is Adelaide.”

Zahli in hospital with the support of her loving brothers, Connor (left) and Kai (right).

Image: Zahli with the support of her loving brothers, Connor (left) and Kai (right).