Marcus: A beautiful, funny, but short life


Children's Cancer Foundation

Marcus was born on February 7, 2005, and we knew then he was going to make us laugh as he came out peeing everywhere. That was the beginning of a beautiful, funny but short life. 

Marcus was like any other four-year-old, but one day our happy go lucky boy started feeling unwell. We thought he had a virus, but it continued for a couple of weeks. One morning Marcus could not stop vomiting and was holding his head in extreme pain, so we rushed him to the hospital.  

At that moment on April 29, 2009, the unimaginable happened – our beautiful, happy Marcus was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The surgeon said that she needed to operate immediately as she thought the tumour was aggressive and our son could die. And if that wasn’t enough, she told us that Marcus might not make it through the operation and we should say our goodbyes.  

“We waited 15 hours while Marcus was in surgery, battling emotion after emotion. It felt like time stood still.” 

– Marisa, Marcus’ mum

We were finally reunited with Marcus – we had our superhero back. A week later, the whirlwind continued. We were told that Marcus had stage 4 Ependymoma, a rare tumour that grows in the brain and the spinal cord. The prognosis was devastating. At that moment, we instantly became the parents of a child with cancer.  

Then the long and challenging cancer treatment program began. 

What followed was a series of gruelling treatments over five long years: 73 sessions of cranial and spinal radiation, sixty general anaesthetics, 25 MRIs, a relapse in 2012 with surgery to remove two more tumours from his spine, 40 weeks of chemotherapy which included two clinical trials, blood tests every week and five blood and platelet transfusions. 

“From the day Marcus began his treatment, he never played by the rules.”

– Marisa, Marcus’ mum

When he was supposed to lose his hair, he didn’t, and when he wasn’t supposed to lose it, he did. Marcus stayed strong throughout all the poking, prodding and needles. He would brag to his cousins how easy it was to swallow those massive chemo tablets. Whenever he saw us worried or sad, he would say, “Don’t worry, everything is going to be OK. This is a piece of cake.” 

Marcus fought so very hard. We tried everything in our power to save him. But, cancer took control, and on May 15, 2014, our nine-year-old superhero lost his battle. 

Needless to say, this was and still is the worst day of our lives.  

Each week at the hospital, Marcus looked forward to The Beaded Journey, where he would place new beads on a string to represent each medical procedure or milestone throughout his cancer journey. The Children’s Cancer Foundation funds this program. This amazing Foundation supported the clinical trials that Marcus was on. And the art therapists and music therapists who provide much needed support for all the families going through this horrific cancer journey are funded by the Foundation. On top of all this, the Foundation is committed to helping to find a cure for childhood cancer. 

Leaving a legacy to help improve future outcomes for others 

It is for this reason, we have joined forces with the Children’s Cancer Foundation and started a fund in honour of our angel. We’ve called it the Marcus Rosin Fund with 100 per cent of all the money raised going directly towards brain tumour research and clinical trials. 

At Marcus’ funeral, we said that we didn’t understand why he was given to us and then taken away so soon. We still don’t know why, but we do believe that maybe, through the Children’s Cancer Foundation, this is his way of making a difference. 

Thank you to Marcus’ parents, Marisa and Fabian, for sharing this beautiful tribute to their son with the Children’s Cancer Foundation. 


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