Back to ‘normal’ school
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