Author has written 40 stories for Criminal Minds, and Outnumbered.
NOTE: To those reading my story 'Pripyat', it has been taken down and remastered. Hope you enjoy the new version!
Thank you to all who voted for my stories in the 2014 Profiler's Choice Awards, especially to those who voted for Stars Can't Shine Without Darkness! It's been four years since my first participation in these lovely awards and I've finally achieved a win, thanks to all of you! So thank you so much! You've made me one very happy writing girl. And to celebrate the win of SCSWD, it is being updated ASAP!
To those who voted for SCSWD, hopefully we are helping to make a difference in the crusade against childhood cancer! Let's keep the fight going.
I just wanted to say here that I am most adept at writing angst, and that I very often recycle my own ideas. So if you see me using the same idea and themes again - bear with me, I am going to keep it on a different level.
Now that you're on my page, please just give me five minutes of your time and read the section below this. It is very important to me, but also to thousands of others as well.
I'm going to introduce myself first.
The name's Courtney. I am an 18 year old Australian female, living in Perth, Western Australia. You may have heard that Perth is one of the crappiest cities in Australia. In some ways that is true, but in reality, Perth is a beautiful city and I don't think I could live anywhere else. Our government is working hard to upgrade many aspects of our isolated little city.
I have been a dancer since I was 3 years old. I am a very unmotivated person and most of the time, the thought of going to dance makes me huff and puff and drag my feet. But don't get me wrong, I do love dancing. I dance jazz, tap, hip-hop, and acrobatics, and I am quite capable of bending myself in half in more ways than one.
I also do recreational gymnastics and it is teaching me to be self aware of my body and my muscles.
I love writing, as you can tell. I also love my little cousin Boyd. He's so cheeky. He's so lucky he's cute.
Go check out my amazing beautiful friend's page, kaeh96. Her writing is getting so so good, I encourage you to have a read!
Here's a story I would like everyone to read.
My younger sister, Ash, started dancing with me that year. She was very little and very cute, and very quickly made a great friend. A young girl named Chloe.
Chloe is a year older than Ash, but they became fast friends. Chloe and her mum, Lee, were at our house often. After a few months passed, another girl named Tara, and her mum Toni joined the gang. Tara's older sister, Alex, was in my class and we quickly became friends.
Fast forward to about 2006. Lee decided Chloe wasn't getting enough out of our dance school, and moved her to another school. That was the last we heard from Lee and Chloe, except for the fact that my mum and Lee were Facebook friends.
Fast forward to 2013. Chloe is now thirteen.
In mid July, I was sitting with my mum and my sisters at our hairdresser's house. Mum and Cheryl (the hairdresser) were talking about Chloe, because Chloe attends the same dance school as Cheryl's little girl. Mum was saying how Chloe was having bad headaches and Lee was dragging her to every doctor in Perth but to no avail.
I heard nothing more until mid August. We were at Cheryl's again, this time just me and my mum. I distinctly remember these words coming out of Mum's mouth.
"You remember I told you about Chloe and her headaches? Well, Lee took her to PMH [the children's hospital in Perth, and they found a brain tumor. Chloe has medulloblastoma"
I was stunned. Chloe? A girl I had once known so very well, diagnosed with childhood cancer?
I later friended Lee and Chloe on Facebook, because I wanted to get back in touch with them, show them that I care and I'm here to support Chloe and her family on this cancer nightmare.
Here's the story I later discovered after friending Lee:
August 4, 2013, Lee took Chloe to Princess Margaret Hospital for Children because Chloe was in excruciating pain and Lee had had enough. She wanted answers. That was at lunchtime. At 9pm that same day, Lee was told that Chloe's MRI showed a 5cm tumor growing on Chloe's brain stem. Chloe was also found to have severe hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Her spinal fluid was leaking into the area surrounding her brain, making her intracranial pressure increase dramatically, and forcing an urgent call for a shunt to be placed in her head as soon as possible. The doctor that diagnosed Chloe's tumor was amazed that Chloe was still walking, when in reality, she was still competing, flipping, tumbling, dancing, AND walking.
Chloe was admitted immediately indefinitely. The following day, she had a minor surgery to insert the shunt into her brain (I say minor because that's nothing compared to her resection. Keep reading for details). The shunt alleviated Chloe's eye pain, drained and regulated the amount of spinal fluid, and relaxed her brain for the resection surgery the following day.
August 6, 1pm. Chloe was taken into surgery to have the tumor removed. If you need an idea of where Chloe's tumor was, touch the back of your neck at your hairline. That's almost exactly where it was growing. They made an incision up the back of Chloe's neck and slightly up the back of her head to get the beast out. The surgery took five hours, and Chloe sailed through it like a champ. She wasn't even on the ventilator when they moved her from the OR to the ICU.
The following few days were difficult. Aside from not knowing the result of the biopsy, Chloe woke up with fuzzy vision, reduced use of one of her hands, and was barely able to walk. As the swelling from the surgery went down, this alleviated slightly, but Chloe still needed physiotherapy to basically learn how to walk again. She was in hospital for just two weeks to regain the use of her feet.
Three days after the surgery, Chloe and Lee were told that Chloe's tumor was indeed cancerous; a highly malignant and aggressive cancer known as medulloblastoma. Stage 4.
Chloe underwent 31 rounds of radiation along with daily low dose chemo. Her hair fell out. Her beautiful bronzed skin is so pale you can barely believe you are looking at the same child. She suffered horrific burns from the radiotherapy. She is fed through a tube; initially a naso-gastric tube, but after she threw up all her feeds for three weeks straight, the tube was put further down, into her intestines. These tubes are difficult to place, but have made Chloe's life so much easier.
"They are saying that to save your child's life, they have to cut, burn, and poison your child. And there I was, watching my child have radiation, knowing I had signed the form to say it was ok, and it wasn't. It's not ok" - Jack's mother, TheTruth365 documentary
She has completed six rounds of high dose chemotherapy; a combination of four drugs - Cisplatin, Cyclophosphamide, Carboplatin, and Vincristine.
She has nailed this bitch to the post.
She's had major hurdles, a few scares, and many delays. She narrowly avoided having chemo on Christmas Day, but had her fifth round over Easter and couldn't see her family. She used to be a beautiful dancer, and a state ranked gymnast. She will never be able to do gymnastics again, which is sad because she was incredibly talented. But Chloe, like the fighter that she is, has returned to dance.
Cancer is a cruel beast. It has stolen Chloe's normality, her teenage life, and her body. And she's not the only one.
I saw Chloe in April 2014 for the first time in about eight years. And my god, she is such an amazing kid, I cannot even begin to explain. She struggled to walk; she walked hunched over with her feet turned out, but she managed well with a walker. She treated me like we were old friends, despite the age gap. She's beautiful.
Chloe is now walking with just one crutch, has returned to dance and school, has had some of her hair grow back as well as her eyelashes and eyebrows, and is looking happier and healthier than ever.
Why am I telling you this?
Because childhood cancer has limited funding and research. Too many kids die from cancer. Ward 3B at PMH has seen almost one child a month die from the disease since October 2013. That's almost 17 kids.
Many of Chloe's friends have passed away.
Kimmy died shortly after Chloe was diagnosed. She had many inoperable tumors around her stomach. She was one of the first kids Chloe met, and really helped take away some of Chloe's fears about fighting cancer.
Joanna was another girl, who died shortly after Christmas 2013.
Blake, Chloe's little 'fiance'. He was 7, had a heart of gold, and many rapidly growing brain and spinal tumors. He died the day after Chloe completed treatment.
Kalin, who fought osteosarcoma, one of the hardest and cruelest childhood cancers there is. He died shortly after Chloe got her official all-clear.
And Jimi. Jimi also fought medulloblastoma. At 6 years old, he was halfway through his chemo regime when doctors discovered the horrific truth; his tumor was growing back faster than the chemo could kill it. Jimi started a new treatment regime immediately, but his tumor was now inoperable, unlike the first. After seeing that the treatment was not going to save his life, his family made the difficult decision to stop. Jimi spent the rest of his functional life enjoying it as a 7 year old boy should. Then he got very unwell. He started slipping in and out of a comatose state. He couldn't communicate, he couldn't open his eyes, eat, drink, do anything to sustain himself. 12 days after he slipped into the coma, he passed away in his sleep, surrounded by his family.
This should not be happening to kids. We need to fight back.
I started a twitter movement back when Chloe was first diagnosed. #believeforchloe
I tweet updates about Chloe, but also facts about medulloblastoma, the MOST COMMON MALIGNANT BRAIN TUMOR IN KIDS TODAY. I didn't even know it existed until Chloe was diagnosed.
There are so many ways we can change this. I'm only one person, but if everyone who reads this follows the information below, maybe somehow, we can make a difference. I'm sharing Chloe's story because her story is close to me, and I want people to understand that it could happen to absolutely anyone.
Please take the time to follow these links, share the movement, the stories, and maybe just maybe, we can make a difference.
www.thetruth365.org - links to petition for funding for childhood cancer research. This site is official and every cent goes straight to childhood cancer.
https://www.facebook.com/toughmudderforchloe?ref=br_tf - a Facebook page initially started to help raise funds so that Chloe's family could survive without her parents working. Now you can follow Chloe's journey and also the journey of Chloe's friend Caitlin. Danni, the lovely lady who runs the page, also posts links to websites and pages with information and ways to help.
https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&q=believeforchloe - The Twitter movement I started on Chloe's behalf.
Some links to information about Chloe's cancer:
Please take the time to have a look through some of these links. Your contribution to TheTruth365 could help save lives in the future.
ONE LAST THING:
Earlier this year, Chloe and her mum had a piece on the Channel 10 news. If you would like to see and hear Chloe's story, please watch the video below (it is a public video).
CHLOE NOW HAS A GO GOLD CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS SHORT FILM. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO WATCH IT.
If you want an insight into what it's like to live with childhood cancer, I encourage you to read my story 'Stars Can't Shine Without Darkness'. It is an AU that revolves around JJ as an eleven year old girl being diagnosed with medulloblastoma. It gives a huge insight into childhood cancer, and it closely mirrors Chloe's story. You will see it from many points of view, and the devastating effect it has not only on the child diagnosed, but the people around them as well.
I also encourage you to read kaeh96's story, 'Don't Forget To Remember Me'. It is another childhood cancer story, dedicated to Chloe, but focusing on acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, one of the most difficult leukaemias to treat, especially in kids. It has a lot of the same insights, but it has a different touch to it. It is a beautiful story, I highly recommend it.
Nominations received in the annual Profiler's Choice Awards (previously held on the forum Chit Chat on Author's Corner):
Awards won in the annual Profiler's Choice Awards:
UNIVERSES -(italics are yet to be published)
Forever (chronological order of reading) (the age gap between Haven and Henry is 7 years. I made a minor mistake in Forever My Girl chapter 7 with Henry's age, which I will rectify as soon as possible)