tell me your story: Bianca Jae Makes Stuff

today I share the story of another lovely friend I’ve met through blogging and my online life, Bianca. This family has been through so much and still stay positive and smiling……….throughout it all. No one should have to go through this and I thank Bianca for wanting to share it with us. I think Maybelle is an amazingly strong girl and I’m sure you will too………..
Hi there! I’m Bianca from Bianca Jae Makes Stuff but mostly I’m biancajwood on twitter. Corrie and I have been friends a few years now, both online and real life, meeting a few years ago at sew it together melbourne. Corrie is also known in my house at the fabric dealer. I do love fabric!

I’m a mum of 4, wife to one and for the last 8 1/2 months we’ve been fighting cancer.

My oldest, Maybelle 11, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia or ALL the end of October last year. 2 months after we moved from Darwin to Victoria. Its a blood cancer and her prognoses is very good. 2 1/2 years of treatment, the first chunk, intense and scary, but last week we started the less intense, return to a new normal treatment, called maintenance.

It has been….hard, really hard. Organising treatment, childcare, school, meals, hospital stays, family time. I actually don’t let myself think. I just to. If I allow myself to stop and think…I’d loose it. Cancer? In my baby? I still cant believe it. It’s really not fair. And seeing her go thought treatment is….unbearable. Her hair as fallen out twice. We have sick bags in every room, bag and car. Ulcers in places they have no business being. All sorts of side effects but we’re lucky really, chemo is working. The moment people start talking to me about how toxic and nasty chemo is I shut off. Chemo is magic. In our house chemo day is killing cancer day. And the Royal Children’s Hospital is where they make magic happen.

So far Maybelle has endured 15 lumpur punctures, 2 bone marrow aspiration, 1 port insertion, 16 general anaesthetics, 78 days in hospital, 27 blood product transfusion, over 100 needle procedures including the insertion of external lines or bungs in the hand, blood test and giving meeds, has had 8 different chemo’s in 5 different ways. It’s hard to believe that after all that and more she is still smiling. But she is. Maybelle is stronger than I ever thought possible. She hardly complains, sure she hates being poked and pricked, but she sucks it up and gets on with it. The universe doesn’t give you what you can not handle. Clearly, she’s a tough cookie 😉

Want to help Maybelle and kids like her? You can and it wont cost you a thing, give blood. Please, if you can. And if you can’t, support someone that can. Mind their kids while they donate. Or make them a meal. As amazing as chemo is, without blood and platelets Maybelle would not survive treatment. It really is the gift of life.

Thanks so much for letting me share a bit of our journey and congratulations to Corrie and family xox


  1. Bianca, you are so amazing and strong and an inspiration.
    I follow you on twitter and I am in tears reading your post. The reality is so much more than I can ever imagine.
    Maybelle – wow, she is just SO brave! I have a daughter the same age and just don’t know how you do it.
    Thinking of you often.

  2. Wow – what a amazing story. I love the fact that you see chemo as a life-saving thing. Corrie is right, you have an amazing capacity to see the positive in things – something that I know your daughter must have inherited. That positive attitude will make her strong, brave and a fighter. You all rock.

  3. What an inspiring story. So glad to hear that the chemo is working. Thanks for sharing. Sending our love and prayers to Bianca and her family.

  4. I found your story an inspiration and interesting. You are a brave and wonderful woman to hold it all together, when someone is ill, especially your daughter. I don’t know if I could be so brave. Although I think you just end up doing it because you have to keep going and staying strong due to the family. Love to you and I am sure with the positive attitude all will work out.

    Giving blood is the best thing you can do to help. There is a blood van coming for donations in our area. I will see if I can sign up.

  5. I’m going to check if my Fiance is due to give blood soon and do something for him too. Families like yours makes me wish I was able to do this myself.

  6. I have tears running down my cheeks as I type this. I can’t imagine being as strong as you if something terrible happened to my little girl but I guess you never really go looking for that inner strength until bad things happen. Hopefully one day in the not too distant future you can all go back to ‘normality’ and start worrying about the trivial things again.

    On the topic of blood donation I wish that the rules would be changed so that it is less restrictive on those that can donate blood. I am excluded because I lived in England during the time of ‘mad cow disease’.

  7. Bianca, you and Maybelle are total legends. Your family is amazing. And darwin misses you xx

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  9. such a heart felt story & so brave of you to share. i wish you all the best in your daughters treatment. thankyou for reminding us that the trivial things in life really arent important :)

  10. Wow, what a story. How good is the Royal Children’s – they are so, so wonderful there (even though we’ve never had to stay). I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a child with cancer. So glad the chemo is working, Bianca. I don’t know how brave I could be in that circumstance, either.

    2 for 2 wonderful stories so far, Corrie.


  11. Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story, best wishes to all the family.

  12. How amazing are you and your family. I would love to donate blood as I was always gave blood in the UK, but unfortunately, I am excluded because of mad cows disease. I will encourage family, friends and colleagues to give blood regularly. Hope all works out well for you and your beautiful daughter.

  13. what an inspirational blog. Thanks so much Bianca for sharing Maybelle’s story.

    It is amazing how much medical science can do to help but as you say we can all do our part too.

    Corrie, thanks for posting this for us to read.

  14. Wow…such a thought provoking story. What a journey you have been on and continue to travel along. Positive vibes being sent your way. Thanks for sharing your

  15. Oh Bianca, just inspiring to hear you so strong for your children. I can’t imagine, how dare cancer touch a child, such a hideous thought. You have such a fantastic attitude & family around you, love Posie

  16. Nice to meet you Bianca and what an amazing mum you are! Wishing you and your family strength and that your daughter makes a full recovery. All the very best x

  17. Anonymous says:


    your post really touched me. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease 2 weeks ago and had my first chemo last Friday. It is hard, especially with 2 young kids (5 and 7) but I am sure I can do it. It s the small things making it bearable. You can be so proud of your daughter, and of yourself. I would not know where to start if it would have been one of my daughters being diagnosed. Just happy it is me, not them. Hang in there, we ll get there!!
    Love, Suzanne – Netherlands

  18. Chemo’s not perfect but it’s the best we’ve got. Having dealt with cancer in my family too, Bianca I agree with you that chemo is MAGIC. Best wishes to Maybelle!!

  19. The hugest of hugs to Bianca and Maybelle. I am in tears reading what you are having to go through. I think you are both amazing and that your bond will be even closer after experiencing something so life changing.XXXJ

  20. What an amazing post, I am crying but also inspired, thank you ladies!

  21. My thoughta and best wishes are with you both, Bianca and Maybelle. Dare I say that your Darling daughter seems to have your positivity and strenth.
    I have been a blood donor for decades as the Red Cross thinks my blood’s worth bottling (O negative) and am proud to say that I have influenced my woosy, scared of needles partner to become a regular blood donor!

  22. Thank you for sharing your story. Stay strong! We are all blood donaters in my family – we donate as often as possible.

    A hugh!

  23. Yep you and Maybelle are amazing!


  25. Love is all you need….Love is the fuel of your strenght…And I believe Bianca and Maybelle and their family are loaded with LOVE :)

  26. you are such an inspiration to me and most definately Maybelle is for so many reasons. I am sending you and especially Maybelle so many cyber hugs. I am unable to give blood but my husband does it as often as he can. It’s one small thing he can do to help people and there is such a shortage of it everywhere xxxx

  27. Beautiful…brought a tear to my eyes!

    When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I asked him to donate blood, since I couldn’t. He did and he does it now whenever they travel to our regional area (usually the required 3mths). Apart from suffering from a cold the last couple of times, he has not missed a donation.

    And as soon as I am able, I will be back donating (3rd baby on the way!) It is a real-life story like yours that people need to read to understand the importance of donating blood, plasma and platelets.

    Best wishes to you all x

  28. I read your story with a lump in my throat.
    In 1984 my little girl Laura was diagnosed with A.L.L.She was 3and a half years old.
    I was a nurse myself and in those days prognosis was not so good, but we gritted our teeth and did what we had to, just to try and get 5 years.
    Laura is going to be 31 years old in September, she is a pharmacy dispenser, and as strong as only women can be.
    She is unable to have children, but I hope she will adopt, so I can be a Grandma to her children.
    Yes the chemo is toxic, yes you do worry about the future, but thanks to all the research, we are able to watch so many of these children grow up.
    I know it is hard for you all now, but I have met wonderful people on this journey, and know you will, and one day, Maybelle will be the one inspiring others.
    Wishing all of your family well


  1. […] wish come true. I’ve shared Bianca’s story on my blog before (you can read it here) and when her gorgeous Maybelle decided she wanted to go to the Ellen show everyone decided we […]

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