Luke and Travis, both about 27 years old, were a happily married couple living on the Gold Coast, Queensland, that was until 2016 when Travis was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a type of blood cancer.

Travis, at one stage underwent a bone marrow transplant, to which he responded well. Everything was looking up that was until 18 months later, when Travis started going downhill again. Tragically he passed away in July this year.

When he was diagnosed, we didn’t have a clue about Leukaemia and what it did to the blood cells and human body. When his journey started we were told by the doctors that it is going to be a long hard road with a lot of tests and treatment to attack the cancer cells but we were ready to hit this disease head on and take on any challenges that we were going to face.Travis’s partner, Luke Radosevich told Star Observer.

We had a lot of times where we were in hospital for maybe like two weeks then we would be out for a week or two because he had no white blood cells to keep up his immune system.

“At the end, they gave us two options, one was to stay in hospital and get the medication that wasn’t working or the second option was to be discharged from hospital with no more medication or treatment and come home to see our puppies and enjoy the rest of his time he had left before his end of life. We came home from hospital at 2:30pm Friday and sadly at 11:22pm Friday night Travis passed away.

 Every day in Australia, three people just like Travis are diagnosed with AML, while over 1000 people each year lose their life to it. Over the past 10 years alone, the incidence of blood cancer has grown by over 30 percent. And as Radosevich told us, it could just as easily happen to any of us.

Going on this whole journey it made me realise that anything can happen instantly to your body, you can be having a good day then the next minute you are being rushed to hospital. Everything was overwhelming but I went in with an open mind and took each day as it came.

It’s tough, you put your life on hold but you’re doing it for a great reason, to be there with your husband. Because you love them, you’re not going to leave their side. It did put our life on hold for a while, but it was interesting because it opened my eyes up more to realise to never take life for granted. It was definitely something I never want anyone else to ever go through, it’s upsetting and heart breaking. It opens your eyes… you only have one life and you have to live it to the max.

Life since Travis has passed away has been very different, because we did everything together, we were inseparable. Now that he has passed away, it’s just me and the two dogs, life is changed forever. You have to learn to adjust to be by yourself, doing things on your own.

 One organisation that is continuing to advocate in this filed, is the Leukaemia Foundation whom through a $50 million National Research Program are pushing for rapid advancements in blood cancer treatments, research that discovers new diagnostics and novel therapies, and research that enables Australian blood cancer patients to access global clinical trials.

Radosevich continued, “As soon as I knew about leukaemia and the Leukaemia Foundation, I want to do my bit. So right now I’m growing my beard for a year till October next year, when I will shave it off for the World’s Greatest Shave.

“Another thing I am doing is called Light The Night, which is on this Saturday, but because of COVID-19 it’s a virtual gathering this year. It’s about having family and friends together to remember the loss of a loved one, or a survivor and to raise funds and to try and cure blood cancer.”

Light The Night normally involves thousands of Australians gathering in capital cities across the country to light lanterns coloured to signify their connection with blood cancer. This year as Radosevich mentions, because of COVID, the event has gone virtual. Meaning anyone can participate, wherever they are. Which has turned out as a blessing in disguise for a lot of people who wouldn’t usually be able to attend large community gatherings due to being immunocompromised, going through treatment or being immobile.

Radosevich concluded by saying of Travis, “I will always love and miss him so very much, he is the love of my life and my sweetie pie.”

Donate to Luke’s Light The Night fundraiser or to find out more about the event

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