Linden School shows its heart
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.