Community mourns tragic loss of brave Rocky teen
THE Rockhampton community is in mourning after news emerged that Rockhampton boy Bailey Jensen lost his battle against a rare brain tumour.
Bailey grabbed headlines and garnered passionate community support when, at the age of 12, word spread of his Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) diagnosis on New Year's Day 2018, leading up to his first day of high school.
DIPG is a highly aggressive and difficult to treat brain tumour found at the base of the brain and in Bailey's case, it was inoperable with limited treatment options.
Bailey's devastated father Will Jensen explained how early in the year, doctors attempted to reduce the size of tumours and to give him more time by using high-dose steroids and radiation therapy.
Unfortunately Bailey didn't have a good response to it, where although the tumour didn't grow, there was also no improvement in his prognosis.
Bailey was entered into a clinical trial using an immunotherapy cancer treatment drug Nivolumab.
"The trial drug looked to be going alright but all of a sudden, the symptoms got worse,” Mr Jensen said.
Unfortunately the trial was also unsuccessful with an MRI that was carried out in early August showing significant growth in Bailey's tumour.
He was pulled from the trial and sent home to spend time with his family and friends as per his wishes.
Bailey divided his time between his parents places until his condition deteriorated to the point that he was taken to Brisbane's Hummingbird House.
At Hummingbird House during his last month, Bailey's mother Kylie described it as an incredible facility where he received the best palliative care, where everything was taken care of, allowing them to just be a mum and dad for him.
He was given every opportunity to get outside into the fresh air, to travel to the local shops to collect Pokemon cards and happily swim (with assistance) in the pool, right up to the end when passed away on Tuesday, surrounded by love.
Bailey was enormously loved and appreciated throughout the Rockhampton community, reflected by the $26,130 generated over the past 10 months by his GoFundMe, to pay for his and his family's medical, food and accommodation costs throughout the sad ordeal.
Bailey's parents paid tribute to the enormous and humbling support they had received from the community and thanked the medical and support staff for their tireless efforts.
They urged the government to invest more into researching a cure for DIPG and to work to make it easier for Australians to participate in clinical trials in the United States.
Although solid plans regarding Bailey's Rockhampton funeral haven't been made, it was anticipated that friends and family would be encouraged to attend.