Pup­pets bring smiles, sup­port for brave Lissy

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - FRONT PAGE -

It was smiles all-round when the Camp Qual­ity pup­pets paid a spe­cial visit to St Michael’s School this week.

The vis­it­ing pup­pets — Kylie and Dean —were in De­niliquin to sup­port the Byrne fam­ily, whose daugh­ter Elis­a­beth was di­ag­nosed with an ag­gres­sive form of leukaemia called t-cell acute lym­phoblas­tic leukaemia (TALL) in April last year.

Con­trolled by El­leni Kara­gian­ni­dis and Josie Lane, the pup­pets visit Aus­tralian schools and hos­pi­tals to help chil­dren un­der­stand can­cer as well as ‘‘how to be a good friend’’.

With the De­niliquin es­Carpade fundraiser teams also mak­ing an ap­pear­ance, Lissy’s mum Lisa said the visit was much more than just a hu­mor­ous skit.

‘‘Camp Qual­ity has sup­ported us since di­ag­no­sis,’’ she said.

‘‘The pup­pets visit the Royal Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal weekly to brighten up the chil­dren’s day.

‘‘Laugh­ter is the best medicine and we can­not thank Camp Qual­ity enough for all they do for our can­cer kids.

‘‘A big thank you to our school com­mu­nity for their sup­port and kind­ness dur­ing these long months of treat­ment and ab­sence from school. The teach­ers have kept Lissy on track with her level of school­ing.’’

Un­til Fe­bru­ary this year, Lissy and Mrs Byrne were per­ma­nently based in Mel­bourne where the eight year-old was re­ceiv­ing treat­ment at the RCH.

Lissy is still re­quired to re­turn to Mel­bourne and Shep­par­ton for reg­u­lar ap­point­ments, how­ever the brave young­ster re­mains as ‘‘de­ter­mined and in­spi­ra­tional’’ as ever.

‘‘With 11 months of treat­ment re­main­ing, Elis­a­beth has daily medicine, sched­uled IV chemo­ther­apy monthly, theatre treat­ment plus IV chemo ev­ery three months,’’ Mrs Byrne said.

‘‘Ev­ery month it takes Lissy nearly two weeks to re­cover and re­turn to full school days.’’

To keep up­dated with her progress, ‘like’ the Facebook page — Elis­a­beth’s Jour­ney with TALL.

Camp Qual­ity pup­peteers Josie Lane (left) and El­leni Kara­gian­ni­dis (right) with Hamish and Lissy Byrne.

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