Parents planning big 12th birthday bash for brave Mitchell
CANCER is one battle 11-year-old Mitchell Luders has always been determined to beat.
When he was nine years old, Mitchell was diagnosed with cancer and he has been battling the disease ever since.
While the local family of five has fought through every challenge that came with the diagnosis, the Gladstone community has also strived to grant Mitchell wishes he never thought could be achieved.
Late last year, with help from the public, he was granted his first wish to see his favourite game, Pokemon, in Japan and his family was blown away by the community's generosity.
But his second wish, to visit the snow, was put on hold. He has been stuck in treatment in Brisbane ever since.
Mitchell's doctor insisted he stay in Brisbane as Gladstone does not have the necessary support or facilities at the local hospital.
Last week, the Luders received news that one of Mitchell's good friends battling cancer was told that treatment was no longer working.
"We are totally shattered for them," Mitchell's mum Rochelle Luders said.
"It gave us the realisation that this is just a battle not everyone wins."
Mrs Luders said her son's birthday was coming up on February 8.
"As we get closer to another birthday still on treatment I worry that we might miss our chance altogether."
The plan is to give him a birthday bash to remember.
"We'd love to take him down to the Gold Coast - there's a resort he wants to stay at there with a big tropical pool and snorkelling with the fish."
The hope for special transport is also on the agenda.
"I can't wait to see the smile back on his beautiful face and enjoy some time away making him feel a bit special.
"It would mean the world to be together under the one roof," she said.
"That's a luxury we don't have anymore."
The family's plan is to self-fund Mitchell's surprise but they are also aware of the big expense to do so.
"We realise not everyone is in a position to fork out money," she said.
But she said they welcomed any kind wishes, birthday cards or anything that could help make her son's birthday memorable.
"We've just been so caught up with doctors and bad news. It would be nice to go away - even just for a few days," Mrs Luders said.
For those who wish to donate to Mitchell's special event or to simply send a wish visit Mitchell's Journey Facebook page.