Four weeks ago, little Elijah Brereton's life changed dramatically.
The five-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, and he was sent to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne for treatment.
Elijah is undergoing chemotherapy and to support him when he starts losing his hair, his mum Bo Williams plans to shave her head.
But she also wants to use this as an opportunity to help others and raise money for cancer research.
Miss Williams has started a fundraiser in support of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, with the hopes of raising at least $400 for the organisation.
Elijah's kindergarten, Shine Bright at Kangaroo Flat, is also supporting the venture by hosting a crazy hair day on Monday and collecting gold coin donations.
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Elijah's illness first came to his mother's attention when the playful young boy's energy flagged.
"For the first month, he was quite ill," Miss Williams said.
"He was very lethargic, he wasn't eating or drinking, he wasn't himself."
After a trip to the doctor Elijah was prescribed antibiotics, she said, but they made no difference.
When the doctor could not find the cause of Elijah's malaise, he was sent to the hospital and testing revealed he had leukaemia.
Elijah faces more than two years of treatment.
Miss Williams said the ordeal had been extremely difficult.
"I think it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do, watching my child go through this," she said.
Compounding the hardship is the fact that Miss Williams and Elijah are currently staying in Melbourne for treatment, and are separated from the rest of the family.
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Miss Williams' daughters and Elijah's sisters, Violet and Charlotte, are still in Bendigo in the care of their grandmother, Kerryn.
"I don't know where I'd be without her," Miss Williams said of her mother.
Miss Williams was also grateful for the support of her sister and brother, Lashay and Dakohda Bannister, and the Kookaburra Cancer Care ward at the Royal Children's Hospital.
She also gave thanks to those who had already donated to the fundraiser, Elijah's kindergarten, and the parents of one of his classmates, who have offered to take Elijah for a ride in a fire truck once he is back home.
The form of leukaemia Elijah is battling, ALL, is the most common childhood cancer, but the Leukaemia Foundation says the exact causes of the disease are still unknown.
The Australian Cancer Research Foundation is a charity that provides grants to research institutes for work on cancer.
To support Miss Williams, visit the her page on the ACRF's No Hair Dare website.
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