Community rallies for brave Piper

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Megan, Laurence, Piper, Cayden and Frankin Collard have been blown away by the support.
Camera IconMegan, Laurence, Piper, Cayden and Frankin Collard have been blown away by the support.

Little Piper Collard has not even turned two, but she has shown bravery and courage beyond her years.

Just weeks before her first birthday, Piper was diagnosed with Stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. Her tiny body was riddled with cancer tumours.

In the past 11 months, she has undergone rounds of chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy and an operation to remove parts of her tumours. The treatments were working and Piper’s tumours were diminishing.

Just before her last round of immunotherapy, Piper’s parents Meagan and Laurence Collard thought they would hear great news. Instead their world was turned upside down — the cancer was back.

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Piper’s aunty, Albany woman Bianca Wolfe, said her sister Meagan took Piper back to hospital after finding a lump under a scar from a previous operation. Last week, the family was told Piper had relapsed.

“After the chemo and operation there was only a small amount of tumour left, so we thought it would be pretty good news, but we were wrong,” Ms Wolfe said.

“We aren’t sure what comes next. She will start chemo again immediately as a preventive measure,” she said.

“It was a very big shock. We thought there was only one round left before she finished her treatment and would improve. We were very close to the end so it’s a massive shock,” she said.

Ms Wolfe created a GoFundMe account with the aim of supporting the family and allowing them to spend time with their daughter while looking for a cure. In two days, $90,000 was raised, the amount rising every minute.

The family, who are originally from Katanning and now live in Perth, have been blown away by the generosity. “We have had such a humongous response, we are all so overwhelmed,” Ms Wolfe said.

“There has been lots of support from a lot of communities, not only Perth but also Albany and Katanning.

“It’s been amazing and there have been complete strangers that have been very generous.”

“It’s phenomenal.”

The money raised will allow the family to spend time together and possibly seek treatments in the US or Barcelona.

“We are unsure of how long they have left with Piper right now, so being able to spend as much time as a family together will mean the absolute world,” Ms Wolfe said.

“If we didn’t raise this money, Laurence would have had to keep working, but now he can spend quality time with his family, with Piper.

“Every minute we can spend with her counts.”

To help, visit the GoFundMe page.

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