Gift helps Mount Warrigal parents get Joshua to treatment

Joshua Cassar, Renee Miller and Southern Classic Cars' Dean Harris.Picture: ROBERT PEET
Joshua Cassar, Renee Miller and Southern Classic Cars' Dean Harris.Picture: ROBERT PEET

Mount Warrigal parents Renee Miller and Jason Cassar can now get their son Joshua to Sydney for cancer treatment in safety - and style - thanks to Southern Classic Cars.

The 17-month-old boy needs ongoing chemotherapy in his battle against a rare kidney cancer, and the family car has been struggling with the frequent round trips to Sydney Children's Hospital.

Ms Miller said the family had been overwhelmed by the support of family, friends and the wider community since Joshua was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour in his left kidney at 12 months old.

"Southern Classic Cars have given us this loan car until Joshua is in remission, and Ringway Control and Automation at Unanderra has given us free petrol while he's undergoing treatment, so we've got a reliable car and petrol," she said.

"We are just so grateful. The car we've been using is my parents' old car that they had when I was a child. Everything's just started to go wrong with it - it overheats, the wipers have stopped working, it's just falling apart.

"Now we can travel to Sydney for Joshua's chemotherapy sessions, doctors' appointments, blood tests and transfusions without having to worry about the car breaking down. It's one less worry we have."

Ms Miller said she was starting to feel positive after a horrific seven months, starting with Joshua's shock diagnosis and an operation to remove the kidney and part of his diaphragm where the cancer had spread.

Then in February, doctors told the couple to say goodbye to their son after he developed a life-threatening disease (hepatotoxicity) from the chemotherapy drugs he was taking.

"But he pulled through, and since he's changed chemo drugs he's been going really well," Ms Miller said. "He's just flourishing, has gained weight and turned into a normal toddler."

Treatment is expected to last until around October, and the community continues to rally in support.

Joshua's godmother Courtney Southwell and aunt Kiele Cassar, together with Oak Flats Lions Club, are holding a benefit night on May 16 at Warilla Bowling Club. To help, contact Ms Southwell on


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