Twelve-year-old Nathan Carter’s struggle to stay alive began before he was born.
His mother Tracey was told during her pregnancy that Nathan, her first child, had a small hole in his heart.
That was just the beginning of what was to come for the Carter family.
Doctors later told Mrs Carter and husband Michael their eldest child had a tumour behind his right eye.
In a worst-case scenario, they said Nathan would lose his sight.
The past few years for the Carters have been a blur of hospital visits, meetings with specialist doctors and, for Nathan, a series of tedious and sometimes painful tests.
However, the courageous youngster never complained and remained patient with the endless medical examinations, his dad said.
A professional cleaner, Mr Carter, who refuses to let his wife carry the weight of the travel and doctor-visits alone, has lost his job.
However he is adamant Nathan and Tracey, as well as Nathan’s sisters, Jasmin, 10, and Krystal, 7, need his support.
Things were looking up for the family two months ago when Nathan was due to have an operation in Brisbane to remove the tumour from the gland.
However the Carters said the doctor suddenly refused to operate, saying he would need a second opinion.
“It is a 10-hour operation, but without it he will lose his sight,” Mrs Carter said.
“We think the doctor won’t do it because it is too risky, but he is so young to just be given up on.”
Nathan, who like most 12-year-old boys, loves “anything with wheels”, suffers from constant headaches.
“He just goes to bed every time he has a headache,” Mr Carter said.
“He’s going to be in bed now more and more.”
“Nathan keeps asking ‘When are they going to do it? When are they going to do it?’,” Mrs Carter added.
“We don’t have that answer for him.”
Anyone wanting to help can email simon.williams @ipconsulting.com.au.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.