ZANE Slomka's family has been "overwhelmed" by the community support for their son and brother, following his brain tumour diagnosis in the lead up to Christmas.
Zane's mum Mary Jane Slomka said their community; Rosary Park Catholic School Branxton; the Greta Branxton Colts Rugby League Football Club and EOD Allstars had rallied around the Slomkas, organising three fundraising events and two GoFundMe campaigns to support the family to spend precious time with Zane.
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"We're very overwhelmed by everyone's support," Mrs Slomka said.
"We're not used to people giving stuff to us, we like helping people or doing things ourselves.
"For us to see the community and everybody wants to support us, it's overwhelming. It shows they care and they want Zane to be better. It's really heartwarming. There are no words."
Mrs Slomka said the family had noticed during lockdown that year two star student Zane's hands had started shaking and he was having trouble with reading, writing, balance and his energy levels.
The family was told on October 13 - less than a fortnight after Zane's eighth birthday - he had a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma tumour on his brain stem.
"I asked, 'Why did he get that?' but the doctors said it was sometimes to do with family heritage or just bad luck," she said.
"But Zane is my lucky charm, we weren't planning to have him and he just surprised us, he's always been so crazy happy, bubbly, he makes everyone laugh. He was just an easy boy to look after and so kind. He does not deserve this. We can't believe it.
"You think your world is really good, but the next minute a big rock lands on your front lawn.You try and get your head around it and some days I'm fine, but the next minute I'm bawling my eyes out."
Mrs Slomka said Zane had a biopsy two days later and this has affected his ability to walk.
"It's a rare brain tumour and you can't operate on it," she said.
"We're trying to be positive that something will come up, a treatment, we're crossing our fingers. I don't want to know too much about it, I try to research it and it's all negative things, it's not positive, when I'm trying to be positive about it that something will help him. It's just a waiting game."
She said it was difficult to comprehend why there was still no cure for brain cancer, especially in children.
She said brave Zane completed six weeks of radiation on December 6 in the hope it will slow the tumour's growth and extend his life. He wowed hospital staff with his Uno skills.
"Since he's stopped the radiation we've noticed he's improving more and is happier, he's wanting to move more, he's been funny, making jokes with his older brother doing karate moves, trying to dance and head bop, so he's got his funny side back."
Mrs Slomka said the family had put work and other commitments on hold so they could devote their time and energy to Zane.
"We're thinking about what he wants now, what he is going to enjoy," she said.
"We want to do what he wants so he's happy, splurge on him, have fun and make memories while we can, that's why Jessie is not working, so we can do more things with him and go on holidays."
She said they were taking life one day at a time.
"You need to think positive, because if you can't think positive you can't get through it," she said.
"We're just praying for a miracle that something is out there to cure or slow down his tumour and he can live with it. He's a strong boy, he's young, he wants to fight, he's got family around him supporting him, making him happy - that's our number one [priority]."
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