Back to ‘nor­mal’ school

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - ABBY BROWN

Kate Diprose might be look­ing for­ward to get­ting back to school more than any other Mata­mata school stu­dent.

The 7-year-old has been bat­tling acute lym­phoblas­tic leukaemia for the last eight months.

She has al­most com­pleted strong chemo­ther­apy af­ter which point she will go onto main­te­nance and can pack a school bag once again.

Her mum, Jackie Diprose, said Kate was very ex­cited about get­ting to see her friends again and get­ting into af­ter school ac­tiv­i­ties.

"This will give her a big glimpse of nor­mal life again," Diprose said. Kate was first di­ag­nosed in Au­gust 2011, three months af­ter her third birth­day. She un­der­went two and a half years of treat­ment to over­come this.

Through­out her treat­ment Kate had a teacher at Star­ship and when she was at home a teacher from Waikato hos­pi­tal vis­ited twice a week and set her work to do.

"It hasn’t been like nor­mal school as we had to be care­ful as she was quite sick dur­ing the in­ten­sive treat­ments," Diprose said.

She said Kate, who will have oral chemo ev­ery night at home for the next two years, was look­ing for­ward to learn­ing pi­ano and dance.

"She just wants to get her teeth into all the things she missed."

Diprose said dur­ing the chal­leng­ing time Kate had stayed pos­i­tive and up-beat. Kate cel­e­brated Christ­mas, New Years and her sis­ter’s birth­day at home and re­cently at­tended Camp Qual­ity. The camp, for seven to 16-yearolds, gives chil­dren liv­ing with can­cer the op­por­tu­nity to meet other chil­dren go­ing through sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences.

But homelife will bring its own stress, Diprose said, as the chemther­apy has wiped out all her im­mu­ni­sa­tions.

If she gets in­fec­tions or fevers she will have to go to Waikato hos­pi­tal, she said.

Kate was wor­ried that some stu­dents might ask about her hair, which is now grow­ing back but Diprose was con­fi­dent the kids would be kind as Kate’s fel­low Mata­mata Pri­mary School stu­dents and staff had been in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive to Kate and the fam­ily.

She said her and her fam­ily were hum­bled and grate­ful for their com­mu­nity’s sup­port.

The fam­ily’s givealit­tle page raised $10,834 from 137 donors.

The com­mu­nity also raised $11,203.88 through a golf tour­na­ment and over $8000 at a fash­ion fundraiser.

The group has also or­gan­ised a bouncy cas­tle, face paint­ing, and a wear­able arts com­pe­ti­tion.

Tait said about 10 youth mem­bers are or­gan­is­ing the day, though more vol­un­teers were needed. Te Ahurei A Ran­gatahi has or­gan­ised the youth events in Mor­rinsville for the past three years.

Or­gan­is­ing the event en­abled youth to get in­volved, Tait said.

‘‘It’s a chance to give back to the com­mu­nity, to use their tal­ents and to help young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies,’’ she said.

‘‘We try to en­cour­age young peo­ple to build lead­er­ship skills and get them­selves out there.’’

When: Fe­bru­ary 6, gates open at 10am, bring your togs and a pic­nic. Where: Mor­rinsville Recre­ation Ground

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