Marnee, 10, takes on battle with rare cancer in Brisbane
ROCKHAMPTON'S Rieck Neumann has always protected his little sister Marnee.
But last month Rieck learnt that he couldn't protect her from everything.
On February 13, Marnee was diagnosed with cancer.
Marnee Millan, 10, had been suffering from respiratory issues for the past 18 months but had been told by doctors that she just had a virus or infection.
A lump in the back of her throat then started to grow and after a number of tests and a biopsy, results indicated that Marnee had sarcoma, a cancer that develops in the connective tissues of the body.
Since being diagnosed last month, Marnee and her mother have had to leave their home in Rockhampton for a hospital room in Brisbane, where Marnee is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
Rieck, 25, said he couldn't believe his little sister had been diagnosed with cancer.
"I was at work when my mum rang me with the news," he said.
"We all just couldn't believe it, I was in complete shock. You always try to protect your younger siblings but this sort of stuff is out of anyone's control.
"We thought it was going to be something more than a virus like the doctors had been telling us, but no one thought it was going to be cancer. No one deserves cancer but especially when you're that young."
Rieck said the doctors have said Marnee's sarcoma is a rare type of cancer but it is treatable.
"Mum and Marnee have been in Brisbane since February and will be there until May," he said.
"My younger sister Lexie just went down there and will be doing school at the hospital where Marnee gets treatment.
"She does chemotherapy and radiation over 15-week stints.
"She's started to lose some of her hair but she's still the active and energetic kid she was before all this happened. The doctors have told us that it's treatable, but that it's going to be a long process over the next 12 months."
Rieck and friends have created a fundraising page to help pay for the travel and accommodation for Marnee and her mum while they stay in Brisbane.
Visit mycause.com.au/page/88924/marneessupporters to contribute.
Around 1170 people are diagnosed with cancer in Central Queensland each year.
The five most common cancers diagnosed in CQ are colorectal, lung, melanoma, breast cancer and prostate cancer.