How seemingly harmless nosebleed led to devastating cancer diagnosis

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How a healthy and happy three-year-old girl’s apparently harmless nosebleed led to a devastating cancer diagnosis – as her shattered mother reveals the signs she was missing

  • A mother has revealed subtle signs that led to her daughter’s cancer diagnosis
  • Melbourne’s Nadia Cali said daughter Amelia, 3, was not interested in playing
  • She also became a picky eater and suffered a severe nosebleed on May 25th
  • Doctors diagnosed her with a type of blood and bone marrow cancer
  • She has just started a long and expensive chemotherapy program
  • Specialists say with current treatments that her chance of remission is good

A devastated mother opens up about the seemingly harmless signs that led to her child being diagnosed with cancer.

Nadia Cali and Anthony Nesci’s 3-year-old daughter Amelia Nesci was a normal, happy, healthy and cheerful child, but earlier this year subtle changes in her behavior began to occur.

Amelia started to become a picky eater and less interested in going out to play, which prompted the couple to take her to some medical professionals who couldn’t find anything wrong.

On May 25, she suffered a nosebleed that did not stop – lasting for two hours by the time they reached the Royal Children’s Hospital in their home city of Melbourne.

Amelia has just started her chemotherapy treatment (pictured in the hospital)

The three-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who has a good chance of remission with current treatments

The three-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who has a good chance of remission with current treatments

“It didn’t look good, the blood was very pale and came out like tap water,” Nadia said 7NEWS.com.au.

Amelia was weak and nearly passed out when she arrived with a blood test that showed she had a shockingly low white blood cell count.

A few days later, she underwent multiple tests, including an epidural, and on Thursday evening her parents’ fears became reality after doctors diagnosed her with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

This is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow – the spongy tissue in the bones where blood cells are made.

Much of that day is a big blur. I remember the doctor telling me those words [that she had cancer] but after that I don’t remember anything,” said Mrs. Cali.

The cancer is the most common type in children with Amelia's mother saying she showed subtle signs such as not wanting to play outside and being picky with her food.

The cancer is the most common type in children with Amelia’s mother saying she showed subtle signs such as not wanting to play outside and being picky with her food.

According to the Mayo Clinic, cancer is most common in children.

The medical facility also lists other symptoms of the cancer — along with severe nosebleeds — such as lethargy, bleeding gums, pale skin, frequent infections, and bone pain.

There is a good chance of a cure with current treatments – but they are long and expensive.

A family friend has a GoFundMe Page for the family to help with Amelia’s medical bills.

A friend set up a family GoFundMe page to help with Amelia's lengthy and expensive treatment

A friend set up a family GoFundMe page to help with Amelia’s lengthy and expensive treatment

She started chemotherapy on Friday — along with regular tests, drugs and antibiotics — and doctors are hoping for a good outcome in February.

Ms. Cali has three other children to care for, while the entire family’s world is turned upside down by the diagnosis, with her and her partner traveling every day from Sunshine in the suburbs to Parkville to be by Amelia’s side.

After recently returning to work as an assistant teacher, she has had to retire to care for Amelia full-time.

Ms. Cali hopes that by talking about her daughter’s situation, other parents will be more aware of the signs to look out for.

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