Relay For life - Purple and Gold Ball at the Hervey Bay RSL. Bradley Flavell and his mum Kay Nixon.
Relay For life - Purple and Gold Ball at the Hervey Bay RSL. Bradley Flavell and his mum Kay Nixon. Alistair Brightman

'Is it going to end badly?': Bradley shares sister's battle

AT ONLY age three, Krystal Nixon was admitted to a hospital in Brisbane for treatment of leukaemia.

From there, her older brother Bradley Flavell described the next two years as "guesswork" to see how she was going.

"We spent nearly two and a half years with her in hospital," he said.

Mr Flavell, speaking to the Chronicle at the Purple and Gold Ball on Saturday night, said Krystal was stuck in hospital for two years straight from 2008, only being allowed small day trips out to visit her family in the lodge towards the end of her treatment.

But with mum Kay and his four siblings trekking out to visit her almost every weekend, Mr Flavell said the diagnosis was "exhausting" and took its toll on the family.

"Working a full-time job at the time, having to try and explain to work I had to go and visit my sister in hospital...it took its toll on the family having to drive back and forth every few weeks," he said.

"It kept us all on tension. It was always a question of 'Is she going to be okay?' 'Is she going to go into remission?' 'Is it going to end badly?'

"It was guesswork - every time we visited it was like a miracle that we could spend that time with her.

"But it was exhausting."

But he doesn't regret any of the time spent travelling, nor the personal sacrifices along the way, especially with Krystal's cancer now in remission.

"Cancer affects everyone around the person that suffers; carers, family, friends," he said.

"But it taught us a lot; how to be strong in difficult times, every moment with loved ones is a gift. You can't just take a day for granted, you've got to live in the moment."

It's an experience that has shaped his involvement in Hervey Bay's Relay for Life, with Mr Flavell claiming each donation brings the group one step closer to curing the disease.

"The more successful Relay is, the better chances we have of curing cancer and getting rid of the disease," he said.



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