Hero Hunter and family suffer major blow


Hunter Madden is the incredibly brave 5-year-old whose battle with leukaemia inspired Andy Keogh, Shane Lowry and several members of the Glory staff to participate in the World’s Greatest Shave earlier this year.

Having been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the age of three, he  has subsequently endured almost two years of treatment, including IV chemotherapy and oral chemotherapy.

As we reported recently, he had been making excellent progress and was due to end his treatment in January 2020.

But that all changed last week, as his mother, Kate Bettenay, explains:

“Last Wednesday, Hunter took the day off school to receive a bravery award at the hospital (which will be shown on Channel Ten’s ‘The Project’ on Thursday 20th September).
“He looked happy and full of life. He spent the arvo scooter riding and playing with his best friend.
“That evening he had sore legs and back, which was quite common after an active day. I gave him Panadol and he went to bed.
“He woke at midnight with stomach pain and again I gave him Panadol, but this time it didn’t work.
“I called the hospital and they said to give him OxyContin, but this also didn’t work, so I packed up at 3am and bought him in for review.
“They took bloods and a couple of hours later we were told the most devastating news; Hunters leukaemia has returned.
“Dave (my partner) was away working and had to come home immediately and on Friday, Hunter was sent up for a bone marrow aspirate and started intensive relapse re-induction treatment.
“He will now spend at least the next 28 days as an in-patient at Perth Children’s Hospital, followed by another 18 weeks of treatment. “A lot of this will be in isolation due to low blood counts.
“Hunter will then receive a bone marrow transplant some time around February.
“Hunter looked so well coming into this relapse, but after just five days of intensive treatment he is lethargic and sore.
“Today (Wednesday), Hunter will receive a blood transfusion as his haemoglobins appear very low.
“We are all shocked and distraught and Hunter has a huge fight ahead of him, but he is a tough little boy and we are sure he will give it his all.”

Leukaemia returning during active treatment is unusual and extremely high-risk and the four-week intensive relapse treatment program that Hunter has now started will make him extremely sick.

As a result, both parents are doing tag-team at his bedside meaning that  neither is able to work, while Hunter’s younger brother Zac is now living with his grandparents.

As a club, we’d like to send our very best wishes to Hunter and his family as they face this latest massive challenge.

You can follow his story via Facebook HERE and if you’d like to donate to the GoFundMe page that has been set up to support the family, you can do so HERE.

We’ll also keep you fully up to date with Hunter’s progress via our website and social media platforms.

Hunter and Zac