CHEERING: Max Hoiberg rings the 'chemo bell'.
CHEERING: Max Hoiberg rings the 'chemo bell'. Allan Reinikka ROK161216abellrin

Max says goodbye to chemotherapy

IT WAS only a few bruises but Bou McKay knew there was something more sinister lurking behind the marks on her son's legs.

She was right.

Bou's son Max Hoiberg who is now twelve was diagnosed with leukaemia and began chemotherapy three years ago.

The family first found out Max had cancer after he fell from his motorbike.

"Max was riding his motor bike when he fell off and I got home from work about half an hour later and he said that he'd broken his break lever in his motor bike and I asked him how he was," Bou recalled.

"He said he had a bruise and I said no no you can't have a bruise already so he showed me and I saw he had bruising all over the rest of his legs.

"I had a friend in high school that had the same bruising and she had leukaemia."


NO COMPLAINTS: Max Hoiberg get his last dose of chemo with his mother Bou McKay.
NO COMPLAINTS: Max Hoiberg get his last dose of chemo with his mother Bou McKay. Allan Reinikka ROK161216abellrin

Bou took Max to the doctors the next day and surely enough her instincts were right.

Before she knew it they were shoved on a plane read to fly out to Brisbane with the Royal Flying Doctors.

Max along with his mum spent 11 month down in Brisbane, finally being able to head home in July of 2014.

Having travelled between Brisbane and Rockhampton for regular chemotherapy, Max's treatment is finally coming to an end.

"Three years ongoing chemo and today my last one through IV and then after that it's just chemo tablets for three weeks and then I'm done for good until I'm 19 when I have to get check-up's," Max grinned.

Max, his family and the team at Rockhampton Hospital celebrated his last round of treatment today with the ringing of the "cancer bell".

"We have a few family and friends and they come and watch me ring the bell and that signifies the end of treatment which is pretty good," Max explained.

"I feel pretty good, it's really exciting."


MESSAGE OF HOPE: A close-up of the plaque accompanying the bell ceremony.
MESSAGE OF HOPE: A close-up of the plaque accompanying the bell ceremony. Allan Reinikka ROK161216abellrin

Bou said she was extremely happy to see her boy complete his chemo.

"It's been a very long road, Max is really excited and I think the whole lot of us are signifies the end of his treatment so the ringing of the bell is a big deal," she said.

"He's been absolutely fantastic, he's never complained.

"There's often side effects or allergic reactions and infections but he's basically coped through it really really well which has made it easier for me as well."

Rockhampton Hospital oncology manager Rinnah Fry who had been with Max throughout his treatment said it was always good to see kids finish up Chemo.

"It's a time to celebrate and we should celebrate it, it's an achievement, they've been through so much," she said.

Rhinnah co-ordinated Max's chemotherapy between Rockhampton and Brisbane, giving him the opportunity to have treatment back home rather than having to go down to Brisbane each month for treatment.

"For Max it's a day off school every time he needs to have treatment, possibly two days becuase they travel to Rockhampton so it's an overnight stay."

"So when they go to Brisbane it's the same, it's a two night stay which is two days away from friends and family so it does take a big strain on them.

"It takes a very strong person to be able to deal with that and the kids deal with it so well, they could definitely teach us a few lessons in that."

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