Brave Anthony's fight for his life

FIGHT: Anthony McCallum is battling a rare form of liver cancer

FIGHT: Anthony McCallum is battling a rare form of liver cancer

The year started off as normal for Naracoorte couple Jesse McCallum and Kristy Forrest, but their world crashed down when they were told their 13 month old son Anthony McCallum was battling cancer.

Earlier this month, the toddler was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer that is most commonly found in infants and children.

Mr McCallum was shocked when following a doctor's appointment on Friday January 8, Anthony and Kristy were immediately flown to Adelaide for further tests.

It wasn't long before the diagnosis was in - doctors found that young Anthony had three large tumours on his liver, which due to being located on both sides of his liver couldn't be removed, and he would need chemotherapy.

"We woke up about 2am and Anthony was vomiting, so we made a doctor's appointment for him - that was at 4pm on Friday," Mr McCallum said.

"I sat in that car while Kristy took Anthony in, and 45 minutes later, she called to let me know her and Anthony were being flown to the Women's and Children's Hospital, because there was a high possibility of him having cancer."

For Mr McCallum, the news was "heartbreaking".

"I was a little bit gobsmacked, because we didn't know at first," he said.

"When she got to Adelaide, I was asleep in Naracoorte and a friend came from around the corner to wake me up and when I rang Kristy back, she told me he had three growths of cancer on his liver.

"I don't know how I did it - I had tears running down my face - but I stayed calm as she was upset herself.

"It was heartbreaking, but reality really hit when I was home by myself, that's when it all hit me at once."

TROOPER: 13 month old Anthony has started chemotherapy to shrink the tumors. Photo: SUPPLIED

TROOPER: 13 month old Anthony has started chemotherapy to shrink the tumors. Photo: SUPPLIED

Anthony has started chemotherapy to try and shrink the tumors.

"If they get smaller, they will cut them out," Mr McCallum said.

"Otherwise he will be given priority one for a liver transplant.

"It is very uncommon for someone to get liver cancer on both sides of the liver - there's an 80 to 90 per cent chance that most people will make a recovery from the liver cancer that he has if it is on one side, but because it is on both sides of his liver, it will be a very rough road ahead of us."

The pair have four other children between them - Ms Forest's children Taylor, 10 and Michael, 7, and Mr McCallum's two sons Jameson, 6 and Caleb, 3.

While Ms Forrest,Taylor and Michael stay with Anthony in Adelaide, Mr McCallum is staying in Naracoorte and looking for work to cover the expenses.

"We are in the process of packing the house to move, so I am doing that now," he said.

"I am also looking for work, we still have bills to pay.

"I have a few friends helping us out - my friend Leanne has started a Gofundme and one of my mates in Mount Gambier runs a business painting cars and he is doing a raffle for a spray job.

"One of the big costs will be travelling from Naracoorte to Adelaide regularly."

With his partner away, Mr McCallum is thankful to have friend looking out for him.

"I have some friends close by who have been keeping in contact with me and making sure I am doing alright.

"I feel a bit helpless - I know I am doing my part down here, but she is up in Adelaide with Anthony dealing with it all.

"It's good, but somewhat sad, that it is circumstances like this that show people around you actually care.

"Sometimes there are more people around, that you aren't even aware of, that care more than what you know.

"Everyone thoughts and prayers and love towards us all in this bad time is more helpful than anything and we are very grateful and appreciative of any help we do get."

To donate to the family phone Jesse on 0497 232 477 or visit the Gofundme page.

Anthony with dad Jesse.

Anthony with dad Jesse.