FOR Tamworth’s Randy Johnson, Father’s Day isn’t about the presents or the breakfast in bed – it’s about getting his four children together in one place at one time.
Randy has been separated from his three daughters for weeks at a time since April as he spends hours at the bedside of his little boy, who is battling an aggressive form of cancer.
In early April three-and-a-half-year-old Bailon was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma. It has formed a large tumour in his abdomen and has now affected his bones.
The little fighter is undergoing rigorous treatment to beat the aggressive disease at Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital, meaning father and son are away from the rest of the family for extended periods.
“What Father’s Day would mean to me this year is having all my children together, because we’re spending so much time apart lately,” Mr Johnson told The Northern Daily Leader.
“Just to have them together and see a smile on their faces and to do a few things we don’t usually get to do of late, like going to the park and having a bit of fun.
“We’re virtually here (in Newcastle) all the time at the moment. He’s five months into his treatment.”
Mr Johnson said Bailon’s treatment would eventually be moved to Sydney before returning to Newcastle.
A three-month online fundraising campaign, which ended recently, would help with some of the costs, but the bills continue to mount up at home.
A Facebook page that allows the community to monitor Bailon’s progress has been set up and Mr Johnson is also accepting donations to the cause.
“People keep telling me he’s a very strong, brave little boy, and even the doctors are very surprised how strong-willed he is. He’s quite a perky boy with a lot of energy, even though he’s really sick. I’m having some good days, but there are some days where I feel really worn out and drained and there can be some pretty bad days at times,” he said.