FIGHTING leukaemia is not the way two-year-old Kacey Sanfilippo deserves to start her life. Nor is being forced to leave her Walkerston home for a foreign environment in Brisbane to spend almost nine months receiving chemotherapy.
It's been an emotional roller coaster ride for Kacey and her parents, Kirsten and David Sanfilippo, but after months of asking "What have we done to deserve this?" and coming to terms with their situation, they have finally brought their beautiful little girl home to Mackay for Christmas.
Mrs Sanfilippo said the family had been dreaming of the day they could take their baby home but didn't expect it to be before Christmas.
It was news that brought overwhelming tears of joy.
Kacey was diagnosed in March this year and was promptly flown to Brisbane by the Royal Flying Doctor Service with her mother.
The initial plan was for her father to continue work at home, while they stayed at The Leukaemia Foundation House, but once Kacey started treatment Mrs Sanfilippo said the situation in Brisbane became too intense for her to handle alone.
She said since Kacey had been in hospital she'd been asking when she could go back to her trampoline and see her dogs.
Mrs Sanfilippo would often show Kacey pictures of the dogs and other things from home so she wouldn't forget them.
The family doesn't have any solid plans for the Christmas period apart from "feeling comfortable again and re-adjusting to life at home". They'll spend a few weeks here, while still monitoring Kacey's health.
Then they have to return to Brisbane on January 9.
Mrs Sanfilippo hopes Kacey is through the hardest part of her battle and is looking forward to July 2019 when her treatment should be finished.
After hearing Kacey was coming home for Christmas, Star 101.9 Mackay asked their Facebook following, "Wouldn't it be great if there were some 'Welcome Home Kacey' signs around when they come up?"
"I reckon it would be great," they wrote.
Since the post, residents have posted images of signs they've put up.
Handmade banners, posters and even an electronic roadworks sign were among the warm welcomes.
Mrs Sanfilippo was overwhelmed by the heartwarming support.
She said she was thankful, not only for the welcome home but for the last eight months of support and donations.
"The support is crazy. I think when people see how little Kacey is it touches a lot of people because it's just not right really."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.