Forcing a child to endure treatment for cancer may help them but to watch was pure torture for former Nowra man Darrin Batchelor.
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The Detective Inspector’s daughter Isla was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia four years ago but is now in the clear after intense treatment and a clinical trial with the Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI).
On Sunday, the policeman jumped out of his own comfort zone and skydived onto North Wollongong beach for Isla and to raise money for CCI to find a cure.
“It was five minutes of terror and fear but it was nothing like what kids going through cancer treatment go through for years and years,” he told the Fairfax Media.
“With Isla, we had to hold her down when they were accessing her chemo pore or giving her general anaesthetic and it was like you’re a traitor.
“You’re supposed to protect your kids and here we were subjecting her to horrific things that she hated.”
For over two years Isla endured constant chemotherapy, 28 general anaesthetics, 23 lumbar punctures, four bone marrow samples, blood and platelet transfusions and spent months in hospital.
Detective Inspector Batchelor founded the Great Cop Drop, which saw 26 others – including Assistant Commissioner Mark Jones – take on the challenge for its inaugural year and raise nearly $40,000.
“Every dollar we raise goes to the labs, to their research … so other families can benefit like we have,” he said.
Upon landing Isla, now 8, ran to her dad crying and hugged him for being so brave.
“She was a little bit worried about me,” Detective Inspector Batchelor said.
When a colleague suggested Senior Constable Hayley Hopson should join the cause, she said yes with no questions asked.
The Wollongong resident’s son Darcy was diagnosed with Leukemia as a toddler. The hardest part, she said, was getting him to understand why he couldn’t leave the hospital or play with his sisters.
“It was so hard watching your bald little two-year-old sit in a hospital bed asking ‘why is my blood so sick mummy?’,” Senior Constable Hopson said.
“[I did] it just to do my part, I feel like I’m forever indebted – to repay that in the tiniest way.”
Detective Inspector Batchelor hopes to run the event again in 2019 and open registrations up to all emergency service – police, firefighters and paramedics.
The story: Dad starts charity after putting child through ‘horror’ chemo first appeared on the Illawarra Mercury website.
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