At just two and a half, Josh was diagnosed with cancer. After two weeks of doctors' visits with a suspected stomach bug, Josh was extremely dehydrated and was rushed straight to the children's hospital.  

That's where the family received the life-changing news that he had a tumour. A few weeks later Josh was diagnosed with stage three neuroblastoma.  

Josh in hospital
The fact her son could have cancer never crossed Kylies mind.
"I remember thinking it's just a tumour, they'll take it out and it'll be okay. My husband had to sit me down and explain what it was. It took a long time for what was happening to sink in.” 

Over the next two years, Josh endured extremely harsh cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant and surgery. Despite this, Josh was resilient.

“Even going through chemo, he always had a smile on his face. He's a fighter.”

"It was very hard, but we were lucky because we have a lot of family. I pretty much lived in hospital Monday to Friday and swapped with Dad Peter who spent the weekends in hospital with Josh for 18 months as we never wanted him there on his own."

While Kylie was in hospital, her husband was working full time and caring for their three other sons. Like many siblings of a child diagnosed with cancer, Josh's brothers were forced to grow up too soon.

"Our oldest son sort of missed his childhood because we had to rely on him to help look after his little brothers. He was making their lunches and doing things that would have been my job.”

The family first signed up to Camp Quality when the Cancer Education Puppets came to visit the ward.

Not long after, they went on their first Family Camp.

"It was just nice having that time and knowing the kids were enjoying it. Pete (Josh's Dad) and I could just sit back and relax. It was a chance to escape the reality of our normal life."

Cancer treatment upends the entire family, and everyone is impacted.

“Back in the beginning when we were going through treatment, Family Camps were what held our family together because we didn’t have the chance to spend time together. We didn't organise holidays or anything because you never knew what was going to happen around the corner.”

“When we were going through treatment, Family Camps meant we could get away and forget about cancer and meet other families which made us realise that we weren’t alone with everything we were going through.”

Josh's family at a Camp Quality Family Camp

Over the years since Josh's diagnosis, his brothers have been able to go on Kids' Camps where they were able to meet other kids like them.

“Joshua’s diagnosis affected all our four kids differently and Kids’ Camps helped them all. For Joshua, they gave him his childhood back. He got to go and just be a kid again.” 

Kylie says that it is easy to assume that you know what your child is going through, but every child is completely different.

"My older boys said that it was nice because they could talk to other kids who were in the same position as them and were feeling the same things they were and to know if was okay to feel that way."

Although his health has improved, Josh (now 13) has been left with permanent moderate to profound hearing loss and chronic lung disease, but mum says you would never know it. “When you look at him when he's healthy, he is happy. He's tired quite often, but he puts a smile on his face, and he'll fight through anything.”

Kylie says that all her boys were impacted in different ways depending on how old they were. 

Josh signed up to cycle 200km for other kids just like him. After he hit his target, he decided to push on and complete 300km.

Unfortunately, he fell off his bike and broke his arm after riding 240km. After attempting to ride the bike with just one arm, he conceded. But Kylie says that he's already excited about Big Ride for Little Kids 2024. "He can't be stopped, he's determined."

“We're really proud of him to keep fighting for what he believes in. It is going to be a hard challenge but he really wanted to push himself, which is why he picked 200kms,” Kylie says.

Joshua’s goal is to become a Camp Quality volunteer when he turns 18, but until then he is determined to give back in any way he can, including raising funds by riding 200kms in March.

Anyone with access to a moving or stationary bike can join Joshua in riding BIG in March. The cycling challenge asks everyday cyclists to ride 200km, 300km or 500km during the month to fundraise and support kids facing cancer.


Visit our FAQs page or contact the Big Ride for Little Kids team.