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Introducing Our Junior Ambassadors for the Dohmen-Jolly Round.

We are proud to introduce our two outstanding Junior Ambassadors for this year's Charity Round, who are dedicated to raising awareness about cancer and supporting Western Health. Please join us in welcoming Chelsea Thomas and Caden Newitt!


The Sunbury basketball Association has set up a donation page to raise funds for Western Health.

The page can be found here:

On top of this page the SBA will be donating all profits from Big V game worn singlets to Western Health. The singlets will be up on eBay from the 30th of May and will be reserved at $95 each. The auction will close on Friday the 14th of June.


Chelsea’s Story:

Chelsea’s Domestic Club: Braves


Story told by Dad, Mark;


‘Wow.. Chelsea’s story, where do I even start.  


At the time of diagnosis Chelsea was an active 11 year old playing sports 6 nights a week with no signs of fatigue and despite some tummy troubles (which with clear tests had been put down to intolerances or pre-teen nervousness) we had no factual evidence she was sickly.


With this in mind and regardless of how infrequent her complaints were, 

call it parents’ instinct but we knew something more was going on…


If I hadn’t taken my daughter to hospital where I was told in a discreet manner that I would be better off not waiting hours (as tummy issues usually don’t come with answers in ED) we would still be completely unaware… 

Thankfully we were happy to wait. 


After some alarming test results, we received the news that our daughter had cancer. 


Nothing at all can prepare you for that private room conversation and the intrusive thoughts to come while you await a plan to be proactive in keeping your child safe. 

I honestly couldn’t even put that week into words.  

We want to be completely transparent that Chelsea is dealing with a rare type of ovarian cancer that primarily surfaces during puberty, (or so they feel with recent research) 

It is said to have no known cause or possibly be a gene mutation. It has no relation to lifestyle/environment and shouldn’t cause alarm to other kids having tummy issues during hormonal years. 

We aren’t trying to scare anyone...

In saying this, we do need a reminder not to take our lives for granted and advocate for our children when we have gut instincts despite other professional advice.


After Chelsea’s initial surgery which may or may not impose on her fertility choices later in life, I am feeling so extremely thankful and blessed to share that Chelsea has continued to stay well. 


Although the hospital cannot use the words ‘cancer free’ as yet, we are feeling pretty certain that all will be well. We are under the most amazing team at Royal Children’s who provide testing regularly and feel pretty confident in Chelsea’s chance of a full recovery. 


I must admit this feeling of confidence was largely instilled by our fellow basketball community.


Basketball was one of the first things alongside grade 6 graduation, that Chelsea spoke of when talking to her oncologist as something to keep her going. Basketball was also one of her biggest reasons to get home post-surgery, she wanted to be fit enough to get back on the courts and thankfully the SBA rallied around her and made this possible when she got the all clear. 


The community kept Chelsea in their thoughts every single day. We had all from coaches to fellow parents and even kids check in with us while in hospital. 


A very special Braves coach was also first at our door when Chels was allowed home. 

Although we felt the love from all, the Braves team especially went above and beyond to fundraise and donate to the Royal children’s in Chelsea’s honour... It still gets us when we see the Braves 32 T-shirt’s out and about. 


I can honestly say hand on heart that the sporting community have truly made such a difference to Chelsea’s mind set and recovery, they never allow her to feel different, they remind her all the time how BRAVE she actually is and to be honest during a time when we as parents were scared of the unknown, she had a very special few in her corner to make things fun again and take her mind off it.


We cannot thank you all enough, you have our upmost respect and admiration! 


Now let’s fundraise for such an amazing cause... 


We feel like one of the lucky ones but when you have sat in a children’s cancer centre and see the sadness that many in the world have to deal with you realise just how important our medical professionals and their needs are. 


Let’s dig deep 🏀!”


Caden’s Story:

Domestic Club/s: Dodgers/Superoos


Story told by Mum, Kate;

“Caden is a 12-year-old boy who loves his basketball, football and sport in general.

He has played basketball since he was 7 years old in both domestic competition for Dodgers and Sunbury Jets.


On Friday 7th October 2023 (Jets Try Outs weekend) Caden showed symptoms of being unwell. He was presenting with headaches and on Saturday 7th October 2023 was vomiting consistently right throughout the night. All he cared about was missing the try outs on the Sunday.


Early hours of the Sunday morning we presented to a local GP who said Caden had Gastro and we should keep up his fluids. I was not content with this information, so I took him to RCH who also told me Caden had Gastro. Throughout the day of the Sunday 8th October and Monday 9th October Caden continued to show symptoms of excruciating headaches and appeared disorientated.


We presented with Caden again on the Monday to RCH and they said they believed Caden had a severe migraine. By 6:30pm that evening Caden was unconscious and in resuscitation. The medical staff in Emergency were able to stabilise Caden and sent him for an immediate CT scan. Following this we received the news that no parent wants to hear. We were told that they had found a lesion on Caden’s brain, and he required immediate surgery to drain fluid off his brain. Following this operation Caden was in Intensive Care and on a breathing tube so they could control manage the fluid. Caden later in that week underwent an operation (craniotomy) to remove what they could safely of the brain tumour. After a few days the oncology and neurology team were able to determine that Caden had a brain tumour named craniopharyngioma. This is a rare brain tumour.


The challenges were not over at this point as fluid continued to build in his brain, so this required an additional operation and then followed by a second craniotomy. In November Caden underwent 6 weeks of radiotherapy at Peter Mac.

Caden continues to be monitored on a frequent basis by RCH as well as Peter Mac. There are still some challenges ahead, but what I am so pleased to share is, Caden is back playing basketball with his mates. 


The support our family have received from the Sunbury basketball community is something we will be forever grateful for. Caden has progressed so positively thus far due to all this support.


We are fortunate and remind ourselves every day of how lucky we are that Caden has been given the opportunity to be treated for his diagnosis. There would not be a family within this wonderful basketball community who has not been impacted by cancer themselves or a loved one. Know that support is all around you and you are not alone throughout the journey.”  


Please join us in thanking Chelsea and Caden as they lead the charge in raising awareness and funds for Western Health. Together, we can make a significant impact in the fight against cancer.


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