Lin­den School shows its heart

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

It’s not easy be­ing an en­er­getic 6-year-old stuck in a hospi­tal bed.

But that be­came an ev­ery­day re­al­ity for Lin­den School pupil Vinny Shaw when he was di­ag­nosed with em­bri­onal rhab­domyosar­coma (can­cer of the soft tis­sue) at the end of 2015.

His fam­ily have tem­po­rar­ily re­lo­cated to Christchurch to be with him while he un­der­goes a 54-week chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion treat­ment plan at Christchurch Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal. He has kept his pres­ence at

school with a soft toy called Snowy, who is de­scribed by teacher Laura En­gel as ‘‘Vinny’s eyes and ears in the class­room’’. Snowy takes part in class­room ac­tiv­i­ties and then photos and sto­ries are sent to Vinny’s mother, Felic­ity, to share with him.

Mem­bers of the school com­mu­nity asked what else could be done to sup­port the fam­ily and the idea arose to buy an iPad for Vinny – some­thing he can use

in his hospi­tal bed and a way he can be even more con­nected with his class­room.

There have been var­i­ous school fundrais­ing ef­forts, in­clud­ing a sausage siz­zle in Porirua and a school wacky hair day. Staff and pupils had fun with wigs and wild hair­styles and do­nated gen­er­ously.

Once enough money was raised the iPad was bought and sent to Vinny, who re­sponded with de­light.

Vinny’s treat­ment ap­pears to be work­ing and the tu­mours are shrink­ing.

In the cor­ri­dors of Lin­den School the chil­dren are won­der­ing aloud at when their friend and class­mate will be back with them.

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