Joshua and Jenna’s Story

It was a fine day for sure, from the sunlight to the birdsong, yet in one particular moment after waiting for nearly a decade, the Turner family got a diagnosis. They were sitting in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and the vascular specialist had referred them to genetics. The Geneticist walked in and started taking their history and how they were feeling. She was only talking to them for about ten minutes before she knew exactly what they had – Pten Syndrome. After struggling for almost a whole decade, they all had a lightbulb moment and felt such relief that they finally got some answers for the questions that had plagued them for years.

At the moment, a day in their life consists of school and resting – due to Kate Turner also having Pten Syndrome. Kate is currently recovering from her 4th breast cancer surgery and 2nd round of chemotherapy in 9 years. Both Joshua and Jenna are medically stable, however, covid has really affected the ability to travel to Melbourne for their AVM treatment. They have constant medication for pain and Joshua walks with a permanent limp, but despite all of this they are still pursuing their passion of archery and dance to the best of their ability – what an inspiration!

“I think that people need to know about Pten Hamartoma syndrome is that the chances of getting cancer are so much more heightened. It is scary learning to live with the constant threat of this hanging over your head but it’s something we are learning to live with. We are just trying to live our best lives.” – Kate Turner

Describe your fondest memory as a family

My fondest memory as a family would have to be Josh’s Starlight wish. We went to Sydney and had lots of awesome adventures. The highlight would have to be the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. The view was amazing! Definitely a pinch yourself moment!

What’s your favourite movie to watch as a family?

We recently watched Sing 2 and whilst my kids are probably a bit big for it, we laughed a lot.

What’s your favourite activity to do as a family? Why?

Going for drives in search of the best bakery in South Australia. There’s something to be said for a yummy hot pie on the road. Delicious!

What’s your favourite song/album to listen to as a family?

We listen to lots of music but the one we tend to bust out is Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi.

What’s your favourite family tradition? Why?

My Mum gives our kids a Christmas ornament each year. It’s fun to look back and see how far they have come.

What quote do you live by?

Amor Fati: translated it means a love of one’s fate whether it’s good or bad.

What does a day in your life look like?

Usually, it’s getting the kids to school and then going to work. I’m a support worker in a school. At the moment I’m on income protection due to a third breast cancer diagnosis.