Rhett’s fight unites region

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Port Hedland residents have proven it is not about the size of a town, but the size of its heart, as locals band together to raise money for one of its own battling cancer.

It was a normal start to 2018 for 16-year-old Rhett Bauchop until a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia meant his days at school were replaced with days at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Father Troy Bauchop said it was a normal life for Rhett — going to school, working at Kmart and hanging with friends — before the shocking diagnosis early last month.

“He’s always been a healthy boy, never a sick child, but one day he was looking a little yellow and feeling a little tired but still his normal self, so we took him to the doctors to be on the safe side,” he said.

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“The doctor did a blood test and within two hours, we were told to get Rhett to a hospital as soon as possible and so here we are and Rhett is in an isolated room starting an intensive course of chemotherapy.”

Acute myeloid leukaemia is a cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells, characterised by the rapid growth of abnormal cells that build up in the bone marrow and blood and interfere with normal blood cells.

Rhett will spend the next nine months undergoing several different therapy treatments.

After the diagnosis, Mr Bauchop started a gofundme page to raise money for Rhett’s needs during his treatment and afterwards.

“Everyone has been really great, calling us, supporting us and sending their thoughts and prayers but when they ask what they could do to help, I never knew what to say ... that’s when the gofundme began.

“My friend suggested we create it so people could be directed there and we’re not having to feel like we’re asking for a hand-out,” he said.

“The support has been over-whelming; everyone knows Rhett.”

At the time of print, the Hedland community had raised just under $9000, almost one-third of the $30,000 total in just two weeks.

To donate to Rhett’s recovery fund, visit gofundme.com/xdhhu6-rhetts-battlefront.

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