By Esther Lauaki
Six-year-old Ethan is a sports and television-loving little boy who is facing a heartbreaking fight for life.
On AFL Grand Final week last year, his parents Pranav and Shivani Desai, of Werribee, noticed Ethan was losing balance, slurring his speech and unable to do simple activities.
Days later he was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) a rare and aggressive childhood brain tumour with an average survival of just nine months from diagnosis.
“Our world was shattered after learning that our beautiful boy and big brother to Ahaan has a rare and aggressive brain tumour,” Mr Desai said.
“Ethan not only loves playing footy, tennis, cricket and basketball, he also values his time as we sit as a family and watch these together, whether it be in front of the television at home or at the stadium cheering our teams on.”
No treatments are available in Australia for the disease so the Desai family is forced to travel to the United States in hopes of being accepted into a clinical trial which will cost more than $500,000.
“It is breaking our hearts to see our little boy continually deteriorate at a rapid rate,” Mr Desai said.
“DIPG almost exclusively attacks our youngest and most vulnerable, who should have their whole lives ahead of them and there is currently no cure.”
An online fundraising campaign has raised nearly $90,000 towards the trial, travel and accommodation expenses.
“We don’t have a day to waste,” Mr Desai said.
“This tumour is savage … we are determined to fight and give Ethan every possible chance.”