Following their debut on the competitive cooking program My Kitchen Rules, Carly Saunders and Tresne Middleton became reality TV sensations in Australia. But what made them well-liked celebrities Down Under was their eight-year IVF struggle, which they recorded on their Instagram page.
On June 2, 2021, the couple had a daughter, Poppy Grace. Poppy, however, was diagnosed with infantile acute lymphoblastic leukemia not long after she was born, which the Mayo Clinic defines as “cancer of the blood and bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made.”
Just four months shy of her second birthday, Poppy passed away in February of this year after a protracted battle.
The pair is now talking openly about the early symptoms of this uncommon illness.
“We observed that her belly was beginning to grow. Consequently, it had some distention. And she would have very massive vomit when she was eating,” Middleton told the Australian news outlet 7news.
But according to the pair, Poppy’s chronic thigh bruise served as the true warning flag.
According to Saunders, “with leukemia, if they’re pale, if they have bruises, or if they’re bleeding excessively, those are usually signs that the disease is affecting their marrow and consequently their blood.”
For five weeks, Poppy’s bruise didn’t go away.
Saunders stated, “Looking back, we wonder how we missed noticing she was so pale, but we had no idea because it happened so gradually.”
Poppy was just 11 weeks old when leukemia was discovered in her body. She was our little miracle, Saunders told 7news. “We’d been trying to have a baby since 2012.” “That night, we believed we might lose her. Each day was a struggle.
We didn’t initially believe it because getting Poppy had involved such a long journey, she continued.
Before turning one, Poppy underwent a bone marrow transplant due to her condition. But two days later, Poppy’s condition deteriorated, and physicians had to break the bad news to her parents.
Middleton remembered, “Doctors suggested to spend as much time with her as you can.
They received an additional eight months as a result of pharmaceutical studies, and according to Middleton, “Poppy really came into her own during that time, like we saw her personality, we got to see just what a little shining star she was.”
But Poppy passed away on February 16 as a result of an unreported “traumatic” health incident in February.
The number of blood donations made in Poppy’s memory has increased, as her parents noted: “It’s astounding how much blood cancer patients in general and children with cancer need. Right now, there is a severe scarcity of blood.
Middleton and Saunders claim that contributions made in Poppy’s honor have resulted in the preservation of 4000 lives.
We are aware of how crucial it was for Poppy and all of her small buddies who still require blood.
The pair is continuing its initiative to promote blood donations in Poppy’s honor and to inform parents of the leukemia’s early warning signals.
On Facebook and Instagram, they described Poppy’s symptoms, urging parents to be aware of headaches or joint pain, fevers, and swollen lymph nodes among other signs. For Poppy, “it was pale skin due to her low [hemoglobin] (red blood cells), large vomits (due to her enlarged spleen), and a persistent bruise that stayed on her leg for weeks (due to low platelets),” they wrote.