In May of 2006 we lost Matt, Liam's Dad after a courageous battle with a brain tumour, he was 34 years old. In April of 2008 we got the devastating news that 7 year old Liam had an extremely rare form of cancer in his sinus cavity. This blog is where we can update you on Liam's progess with his brave battle. "If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them."

Day 323 – Thursday 5th March 2009

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 12:12 pm on Thursday, March 5, 2009

I am pleased to say that this will be my last post.  I have had a phone call today from Dr Christian Kratz who advises that there was absolutely no sign of any residual tumour on Liams latest CT scan.  This is the best possible outcome that I could possibly have wished for.

I am certain now that this has just been a little bump in the road and we can now move forward with our lives and put all of this behind us. 

Thank you all again for following Liams progress via this blog, and all your supportive messages. 

This is me signing off, and fingers crossed that I don’t have to return!



Day 318 – Saturday 28th February 2009

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 7:18 am on Saturday, February 28, 2009

I have decided to add another post today as I think the events of yesterday warrant it.

A wee while ago I sent an application in on Liams behalf to the Make a Wish Foundation.  His wish was for a trampoline.  Yesterday his wish was granted.

We decided to surprise Liam with his wish, so after the initial meeting with Make a Wish I said no more about it so he had absolutely no idea what was in for him when he got home yesterday.

Air New Zealand are a huge sponser of the Make a Wish Foundation and recently over a week they had been asking for donations on board their domestic flights to help fund the wishes of 3 children, one of them being Liam’s.  They raised well over $20,000, and Make a Wish had to literally take a trolley laiden with coins and foreign currency to the bank.  I think the bank got a bit of a surprise, and the Air NZ staff were blown away by the generosity of some people. 

The CEO of Make a Wish, Scott, along with 3 of the Air NZ staff involved in collecting the donations, Vai, Deb, Chris and our two Make a Wish volunteers from Raumati – Trish and Jeff, as well as the Dominion Post reporter Kay and the photographer Ross arrived yesterday to surprise Liam and share in the giving of his gift.

Jasper and our wonderful next door neighbours Helen and Derek (Mr and Mrs J) spent most of yesterday assembling the trampoline, which I can tell you is no mean feat.  The tramp is huge and has two mats, which add to the bounce.  It also has pads all around the outside and a safety net to stop anyone going astray. 

After everyone arrived I walked down to school to pick up Liam and Ashleigh, who had absolutely no idea all of this was happening.  When we got up the driveway Liam spotted it (hard not to as it is so large) and let out a scream of delight.  He then raced towards it only to come to a stand still when he saw all the people hiding on the deck!

He then got on and proceed to have a marvellous time bouncing around with all the balloons.  Courtesy of the Air NZ crew he was also given a hurricanes jersery signed by the entire Hurricanes squad, two t shirts signed by Helen Clark, Bill English, Tamati from Breakfast (with a really nice message on it) and a couple of Warriors.  But wait thats not all, he was also given a voucher for 25 icecreams from Krumbs Cafe in Paraparaumu Beach, which they kept telling me was for Liam and not me, and a voucher for BBQ food from Raumati Butchery which is fantastic as we love our BBQs.  There was also a make a wish bag with 2 hats, lip gloss, drink bottle, fridge clip and a t-shirt, oh and a cake!

He is a very lucky boy and really the words thank you do just seem so inadequate.  All the people we met yesterday were so wonderful and so friendly and they did the most special thing of all as far as I am concerned, they put a smile on my sons face.  So Scott, Deb, Vai, Chris, Trish and Jeff and all the others that made yesterday happen thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  Also thank you to Helen and Derek for storing the Tramp for the week in your garage and for all the help yesterday with assembling it, Jasper was so thankful that you were there to help!

Here is the link to the article that was in the Dominion Post this morning.

Day 300 – 10th February 2009

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 7:21 pm on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This will be my last post for a while.  I have made the decision that after Liam’s CT scan on the 1st of March I will stop updating this blog.

The blog initially started as a way for me to keep everyone informed of Liams progress through his treatment, both while we were staying at CHOC, and on our return home.  Somewhere along the line it changed to a place where I could leave Liam a lasting record of this challenging journey he has been on.  My hope is that he will come back to it in years to come and be amazed at what he endured and survived.  Who knows maybe he will even show it to his kids!  I also have a written record of Matts journey from diagnosis to his passing which I will add together with this and keep it for both the children in the future.

I am not sure how many people are still reading this but to those of you who are – thank you so much for the support over the last 300 days (hard to believe we are nearly at a year) I could not have gotten through this without you.  We have had some tough times but have come out the other side and every day that goes by the better things look.

I will update as soon as we get the results from the scan, and will then sign off.  You can however still follow our progress with the funrazor at the new blog –

Thats all for now


Day 290 – Saturday 31st January 2009

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 8:40 pm on Saturday, January 31, 2009

We got back from our holiday in Auckland late this evening.  We had a fantastic time, but as always it is nice to be home in our own beds.

We decided that there are some pluses to having cancer as if it wasn’t for Liam and this blog we wouldn’t have been the recipients of Jane and Andrews generosity in lending us their house in Mission Bay.  We were about 800 metres from the Mission Bay beach so spent several of our evenings swimming and lazing beside the water.  We also went to the Auckland zoo and Waiwera hot springs and basically just spent alot of time relaxing.  We spent a little bit of time playing on the Wii, which was a fair bit of humour.  It was exactly what we all needed.   

Liam, Ashleigh, Jessica and Amelia are all back to school on Tuesday, and Olivia is back on Monday.  I must admit I have enjoyed these holidays with not having to worry about bedtimes, lunches, after school activities etc, but it will also be good to get back into a routine again.

The next 6 months are going to be very busy, I have 3 exams in a weeks time (the ones I missed when Liam was in hospital) and then straight into semester 1.  My good friend Kirsty is over from London for a couple of weeks in March and then Jasper and I are off to Queenstown at the end of March for 5 days.  Then we are off to the Gold Coast to celebrate Liam being in remission. 

Liam has a CT scan scheduled for the 2nd of March so fingers crossed that that comes back all clear.  We also had a visit from the Make a Wish Foundation, and all going to plan Liams wish may be granted soon.  I will post photos and details once I know more.

All in all everyone is doing well, all very refreshed and ready for the new school year. 


Day 279 – 20th January 2009

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 8:27 pm on Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Liam, Ashleigh and I went into Wellington Hospital for bloods to be taken today.  He was a very brave little soldier, and only had a very small panic attack just before the needle went in, but allowed them to take three vials of blood.  These are being sent to Australia to identify whether or not he tests positive for a certain gene.  If he is positive then further tests will be done on his colon, and Ashleigh will also be tested to see if she is positive.  If she is then it is all about preventative measures, and then we will start to look at the wider immediate family.  These tests really could open a bit of a can of worms.

Liam has a fair bit of anxiety stored up which bubbles to the surface every now and then.  I found him in the bathroom on Saturday with what appeared to be a blood clot that had come from his eye.  When he saw me he started to cry which made the blood come from his eye, and was terrified that he would have to go back to hospital.  Once we cleaned him up I realised that it wasn’t anything major, I initially thought it was just the tube falling out, but I’m not sure.  I am certainly not concerned as his eye is not infected, not bothering him and looks great.  It did however bring home just how much the poor wee buggar has been through over the past 9 months.

Looking to the future, he is having a CT scan scheduled shortly and when that comes back clear (power of positive thinking!) I will give the blog writing a bit of a break as I will have nothing to report, but you can still follow our progress on the funrazor site.

Day 268 – 9th January 2009

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 3:02 pm on Friday, January 9, 2009

So far so good, 2009 has started off well.  I have received a phone call from Dr Kratz who has advised that he has located a lab in Australia who will undertake the genetic testing for Liam and find out if there is a family connection between the cancers and whether further tests are required on other family members.  The people that he has spoken to all agree that it is important given the family history that these tests are done.  It seems strange that when I said that I believed it was important they told me otherwise!  The only downer about it all is that Liam will have to have bloods taken to enable them to be sent off.  Unfortunately he is terrified of needles (wonder why) so I will have to think up some new strategies to help him cope.  Bribery seems to work ok but it ends up costing me a fortune!

The holidays are passing by in a bit of a blur I must admit.  Its hard to believe we are halfway through already.  We spent a wonderful day at H2O extreme with Mel, Mike, Maddie and Imogen who were visiting from Australia.  It was great as Mike was the climbing pole for the kids for most of the day which enabled Mel and I to have a much overdue catch up.  We are off to Hastings for a few days next week, then are heading to Auckland in the final week of the holidays.  Thanks again Jane for your generous offer of the house and car – we really do appreciate it.

The funrazor blog is up and running and I have added my part to it, so keep checking back to see the other stories soon.  We are having a bit of a “fundraising planning meeting” next weekend, which is really just a good excuse for a girls night with no children.  Funnily enough I am looking forward to it!

I have attached the link to the funrazor on the right hand side —–>

Hope this post finds everyone well and settling into the new year. 


Day 259 – 1st January 2009

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 3:56 pm on Thursday, January 1, 2009

Well talk about seeing in 2009 in style.  We had Jaspers family up for a BBQ on a beautiful Kapiti Coast day.  We dragged out the singstar 80’s and after a few drinks I thought I was singing remarkably well, and no girls it doesn’t have the Gambler on it, however we did do a rendition in the spa pool a bit later in the evening!  We had a very late night (or early morning, depending on how you look at 5am) but I got up at about 9 with the kids and jumped on our bikes to ride around to let my sisters dogs out.  We then all sat on the deck soaking up the sun and spent the other half of the day down at the Waikanae pools.  We have now all hit the wall and will go get some fish and chips shortly and have a very early night.

For your information Shanell has set up a new blog for everyone to follow our fundraising journey to the funrazor later this year.  The link is so please add it to your favourites and pass it on to everyone that you know. 

Our only upcoming scheduled appointment is in a couple of weeks to the orthotics centre, but I will be taking Liam to our local GP next week as he has a nasty case of what I thought was athletes foot on both feet, but nothing I seem to treat it with seems to be clearing it up, so I think I need to seek some professional advice!  Other than that he is a fit and healthy little boy who is excited because today he can say “I’m going to be 10 next year!” and this morning “I haven’t eaten all year” and lately “I haven’t had a shower at all this year”

I am positive this year is going to bring good things to our family, and Liam is going to go from strength to strength.  Happy New Year to you all


Day 251 – 24th December 2008

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 12:31 pm on Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve has brought a new little baby into the world.  Some very close friends of mine welcomed their beautiful new daughter Isobella this morning at about 7am.  Her big sister had been dropped off at my place shortly after 5am, and we took a wee trip down to the local hospital early this morning to meet the new arrival.  Both Isobella and Mum were very relaxed and all went smoothly.  She is gorgeous and dare I say it she looks just like her Dad.  What a special christmas present for them.

Unfortunately the heavens have opened today and I am wondering when Noah and his ark are going to turn up.  Although it is very welcome for the about to be drought stricken Hawkes Bay, I would rather a bit of sun down this way!  The forecast for tomorrow is a bit of drizzle in the afternoon, but hopefully the weather forecasters are wrong (like they so often are) as the rain may just interupt our very serious badminton tournament that the McGoverins/Battens/Todds/Stevens/Pattersons have taken to having each Christmas day.  Funnily enough the kids are not the ones playing!  It is usually me and my brother against my sister and her partner.  Of course Daniel and I are bound to come up on top again, perhaps we should look into making a bit of a trophy for the winners :)  All in all it should be a good day and we may even break out the sing star, or maybe not! 

The kids have been very excited, especially Ashleigh as she was treated to a bit of an internet message from Santa all the way from the north pole.  (I had uploaded a photo of her and her name etc onto the site).  The look on her face when she saw her photo and name on the good kids list was priceless, I think she is too scared to misbehave now, its fantastic!  We will leave out a few snacks and beer for Santa tonight, I may as well make the most of it while I still have one that believes.

It has certainly been quite a year for the Todds and our extended family and friends.  I am sure 2009 is going to be my year, I will have all but finished my degree (although I’m not sure I would cope with the culture shock of going back to work – you want me to get out of bed by when??  I think not!), Liam will be coming along in leaps and bounds with every scan coming back clear, all our friends childrens will make great recoveries from their treatments, oh and I will win lotto…

I hope that all of you have a relaxing, fun and special time with your families and friends for Christmas.  Thank you for all your support and wonderful comments over the last 8 months or so, it is only because of you all that we manage to get through these little speed humps in our lives.  Take care and hopefully I will close down the blog next year as I will have nothing to report!!

Lots of love and best wishes for the coming year.

Becs, Jasper, Olivia, Jessica, Amelia, Liam and Ashleigh (and Coco of course!)

Day 244 – 17th December 2008

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 10:58 am on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today would have been Matt’s 37th birthday. 

As my good friend Mel has said she always remembers having a conversation with Matt moaning about getting older and he told her that every birthday he reached was a victory and a blessing.  I know he had 34 wonderful years, but he should have been around to celebrate many more and see his beautiful children grow up.  This is not the way life was meant to be and with everything else that has happened over the last year it seems awfully unfair.  I don’t often sit and feel sorry for myself as I know things could be a hell of a lot worse and I am lucky for what I have got but today just seems to be extra hard.

The kids want to take fish and chips up to the cemetery to have with him, so hopefully it doesn’t rain and we don’t get eaten alive by sandflies.  We will also write some messages on helium balloons and let them off as the kids find this a good way that they can talk to Matt. 

8 more sleeps till Santa.

Day 239 – Friday 12th December 2008

Filed under: 1 — Rebecca at 2:59 pm on Friday, December 12, 2008

The week has gone by quickly, not too much happening, but Liam and I went to see Charles Davis (surgeon extraordinaire)  today over in Lower Hutt.  He is still pleased with Liam’s progress but thinks there may be a slight infection in the eye which explains the “gunk”.  Certainly nothing to be concerned about, and I just need to make sure it is clean.  I would expect it to have come from scratching his eye with his grubby 8 year old boy fingernails.  His eye is still too far back (or forward, can’t rememeber) but it can stay that way as it is not causing him any problems.  Charles also mentioned that he had done another very similar surgery last week on a 14 month old who also has a very rare type of tumour.  Hopefully this is just a coincidence and these “rare” tumours are not going to become common.  It really makes you wonder what is going on in the environment….

Only 13 days till Christmas and I must admit I am such a grinch.  The kids love it but ever since losing Matt Christmas has sort of been a bit sour for me.  He used to get quite excited about it all and loved setting up food and beer for Santa (only cause he got to drink and eat it!), putting flour on the floor and making footprints from the fireplace to the tree and leaving raisins on the floor as reindeer poo.  He was always first up in the morning making a great big cooked breakie, and really without him here it is a difficult day.  We are spending it this year at my sisters place and will probably head into Wellington to Steve for the evening stopping in at the Toddies on the way. 

The weather here is absolutely stunning, but it is getting very hot at nights and despite leaving the windows open it is very hard to sleep.  Maybe that is why I am so grumpy at the moment, I won’t be sorry to see the end of 2008, it hasn’t turned out to be such a good year.  Roll on 2009.

Was just reminded of a quote that a friend gave me after Matt passed away

“In life there will always be sunshine and always be rain, you just need to remember to look for rainbows” author unknown.

Perhaps I should stop being so grumpy and look at the good things in my life!

Well better get back to whatever it is I am supposed to be doing!


p.s. Just in case someone notices I have modified the day numbers by 4 days to bring them in line with the time we have actually been travelling this journey.

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