Community rallies to support Nora

February 23, 2024 BY

Generosity: The Ballarat community has come together to support the Seeary family after their daughter Nora was diagnosed with cancer. Photo: SUPPLIED

IT was a seemingly normal Monday at kinder in January for Nora, when suddenly one of her teachers noticed the four-year-old had a distended abdomen.

By Thursday Nora had started chemotherapy.

Her mum, Dana Seeary said it wasn’t something she was expecting, with Nora’s only symptom before the diagnosis being stomach pain.

“She is bubbly, she’s energetic, she is your typical four-year-old girl, all the sass and all the opinions,” said Ms Seeary.

The family had visited the doctor last November where they were informed Nora was constipated.

“They turned around and said she had faecal loading, and faecal loading wasn’t really present on the X-ray, but apparently that was the most common diagnosis in kids her age,” said Ms Seeary.

On Tuesday 23 January the Seeary family sat for 13 hours in the emergency department, and this is when they began to realise the gravity of the situation.

Ms Seeary insisted medical staff give Nora an X-ray and ultrasound.

“We went up for an X-ray and the doctor said ‘I can’t seem to find her kidney or her spleen’,” she said.

“At this point I’m thinking thank god I pushed for more.”

They were sent to the Royal Children’s Hospital and informed Nora had a 17-centimetre tumour in her abdomen and four smaller ones in her lungs, with a likely diagnosis of Wilms tumour.

Nora has been undergoing seven weeks of chemotherapy and following this, the large mass along with one of her kidneys will be removed.

A GoFundMe page was set up by the community to support the Seearys, and it has now raised more than $43,000.

“The community has just really pulled together to help our little girl and I can’t thank them enough,” said Ms Seeary.

“My husband is self-employed and I’m on maternity leave, so we had no savings.

“I used to have that mentality where I thought people were in it to benefit themselves but since Nora’s diagnosis, I have learnt there are so many beautiful people in the world.”

Ms Seeary urged parents to trust their gut and advocate when they know something is not quite right.

“I said back then to my husband Nick, I feel like it’s more than this,” she said. “If you feel like it’s not right you do have the right to ask for more.”

Despite the challenges, Ms Seeary is confident Nora will overcome childhood cancer.

“She’s going to smash that bell, that’s what she tells me all the time,” she said.

To donate to Nora’s GoFundMe visit gofundme.com/f/nora-louise.