It's been a tough few years for the Mickan family, but when their 7-year-old son was given a devastating cancer diagnosis, it was his 8-year-old sister who made it her personal mission to look out for him.
Back in 2017, Henry Mickan was an active kid who excelled at sport.
But mum Angela noticed something wasn't right when the then 7-year-old began coming home from school feeling lethargic.
"Henry was quite an active kid and played a lot of sports," Angela told news.com.au.
"I started noticing something wasn't right when he would come home from school with a bad headache and fall asleep straight away.
"But probably one of the key indicators was when he was doing cross country at school. The previous year he came second and this time he struggled to even finish – and walked the majority of it."
Angela was at their Kapunda home, 85km northeast of Adelaide, just days away from giving birth with her third child, Bradley, when she got a phone call from her husband Jack, to tell her Henry's bone marrow scan confirmed the worst – their young boy had leukaemia.
Sister's sweet notes to Henry
The family entered a very stressful, difficult year, as they juggled a new baby, cancer treatment and trying to keep a normal school routine for their daughter, Natalie.
But it was Natalie, who was 8 at the time, who was a huge help to her little brother, making it her mission to leave her brother sweet notes and gifts around the house and in his hospital room while he underwent chemotherapy, to remind him that she loved him and he wasn't alone.
One note read: "Dear Henry, I know it's been a hard year for you this year having all the cemo [sic]. I just really want to do a little more for you. Here's a little something to get you a little further. Love from Natalie."
She had stuck a gold coin and four 50 cent pieces to the back of the letter.
Angela said it was very hard for Natalie, who – like the entire family – struggled to see Henry going through such a horrible experience.
Angela, 39, said she found it difficult to get her head around what was happening especially being so close to giving birth and "having to face two major life events at the same time".
"I was just so shocked," Angela said about receiving her husband's phone call.
"I think we tried to stay positive throughout testing and while you're glad to have an answer, it was all so overwhelming."
The diagnosis also separated the family, as Angela stayed at home with Natalie and Bradley, while Jack stayed at the hospital with Henry – a 160km round trip from their Kapunda home.
Angela and Jack, 38, had to learn to juggle life with a newborn, a very sick child and keep their daughter Natalie in a routine with school and activities.
"The first year for Henry was an intensive treatment period where he was unable to attend school," Angela said. "It was followed by a period of maintenance where he could get back to school, but he was still receiving chemo."
During this time, when Henry was able to attend school and sports on weekends, Angela said he had refused to take off his hat and shirt as he was self-conscious and embarrassed about having a bald head and a chemo port near his ribs.
"During a particular footy training session, he took off his shirt and turned it inside out without thinking and somebody commented on his port and from then on he refused to take it off."
"It has been pretty tough for him – more in terms of when he lost his hair. He would happily be at home with no hat, but going to school he wanted to keep it on."
Cancer now in remission
Now, Henry, 11, is in remission and a lot more comfortable talking about his cancer journey – although his mum said he understandably has his ups and downs.
"He is doing well. He is back to his sports and school full-time."
Angela wanted to extend her gratitude to Redkite, who she said helped provide her family with great emotional support during what was a very tough time for them all, as well as generously covering their fuel costs to and from the Children's Hospital in Adelaide.
According to the charity organisation's recently released report, Hidden Health Crisis: Children's cancer needs more than medicine, two-thirds of families affected by childhood cancer miss out on specialised emotional and mental health support to help them through their challenging journey.