Yarrawonga Chronicle

Ambassador Leni shines bright

- BY EMMA PRIOR

In 2018 at just eight-years-old Leni was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer after she become unwell on a family holiday to Bali, where she received two blood transfusio­ns and was later medevac’d to Perth Children’s Hospital.

After being transferre­d closer to home to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne her diagnosis was clear and she began nine months of aggressive chemothera­py, lumbar punctures, blood transfusio­ns and more.

Now in 2021 Leni has been in remission for almost a year and is back enjoying and participat­ing in activities children her age should be, something her mum Kellie and dad Leigh are ecstatic about.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of something as cool as Footy Colors Day,” Leni said.

“Even though my Hawks didn’t go very well this year I’m still a proud ambassador of football.

“I’m proud to be representi­ng Fight Cancer Foundation and Footy Colors Day as they helped me and my family so much whilst I was having treatment in Melbourne.

“I met Erica Fowler and Renee Garing at the photo shoot back in April and it was so awesome to meet some of the girls who play AFLW.

“Leni is back to playing netball, basketball and gymnastics which she has always loved so we are so happy with that,” Kellie added.

“We were approached by the Fight Cancer Organisati­on to come onboard in late 2019.

“In 2020 Leni had an interview with Felise Kafusi from Melbourne Storm via zoom with some of her year five classmates.

“Then in April this year the whole family got to go down to Melbourne for Leni’s photoshoot with Jack Crisp and Renee Gayner to name a few and met other kids in similar circumstan­ces.

“As a family that has always been involved in local footy clubs (coaching, president) we were stoked to be a part of such a fun cause.

“It’s a great way for us to be involved and give back to the foundation and share the knowledge.”

As well as being involved in the campaign, Leni is now also on a number of billboards in Melbourne around Chadstone and on some of the freeways.

“It’s pretty cool, it’s been amazing,” Leni said.

During Leni’s extensive treatment the Fight Cancer Organisati­on were fantastic in assisting with Leni’s schooling so she did not fall too far behind.

“Fight Cancer played a huge role during Leni’s treatment, providing school tutoring to keep her on track,” Leigh said.

“They also assisted with staying in touch with the Grade three and four Sacred Heart Primary teachers at the time.”

“Because of the teachers that we had here and the education support ... she hasn’t missed a beat,” Kellie added.

“I can’t just say they’ve been one good organisati­on, cause they’re all awesome. All who have helped us out have been amazing.”

Alongside the Patient Ambassador­s are some of Australian footy’s biggest stars from all codes who together are encouragin­g Aussie families, workplaces and schools to register to host a Footy Colours Day event to help kids with cancer keep up with school while they’re receiving and recovering from cancer treatment.

Inspiring and brave are just two words to describe Yarrawonga local and Acute Lymphoblas­tic Leukemia survivor Leni Ramsdale who has been announced as one of Fight Cancer Foundation­s Footy Colours Days nine inspiring Patient Ambassador­s.

It’s so easy, and heaps of fun.

As Leni and her family experience­d Fight Cancer Foundation’s education support program firsthand during her treatment they are doing everything they can to raise money this Footy Colours Day.

All money raised through Footy Colours Day funds Fight Cancer Foundation’s muchneeded education support programs, which help children with cancer avoid the significan­t social and emotional impacts of potentiall­y having to drop a year level because of the disruption to their studies.

“When Leni was diagnosed our whole community and surrounds (Yarrawonga, Mulwala, Rennie, Barooga) all assisted in packing our sold house up and cleaning it also before the new owners came in,” Kellie said.

“Fundraiser­s held to raise money for Leni and her treatment helped us so much as a family and we are forever grateful.

“You thank your lucky stars for organisati­ons like Fight Cancer. Workplaces and schools taking part in Footy Colours Day, you’re doing more than for just kids, it’s for families like ours.”

Understand­ably Leni is excited for Footy Colours Day 2021 as her school, Sacred Heart Primary is hoping to host several activities to help raise funds for kids with cancer on September 17.

“I just want my friends and I to enjoy our fun filled day on Footy Colors Day this September and make it an annual celebratio­n for us all to enjoy,” Leni said.

“We will be having handball and kicking competitio­ns, netball and basketball knockouts, a sausage sizzle with primas and cupcakes as well as local Yarrawonga football and netball players,” Kellie, who is also a staff member at Sacred Heart added.

“We usually do a footy colours day anyway but this year we’re amping it up and making it an annual really big, fun day.

“It’s the first year we’ve done anything this big, but we hope it just gets bigger and better each year.

“The new addition and big surprise too is a colour run which will add even more colour to the event.

“At the moment it is planned for Friday, September 17 but if it is not able to go ahead that day we will postpone and definitely hold the event at some point before the end of the school year.”

Sacred Heart Primary and numerous other schools and businesses in the area have taken part in Footy Colours Day for many years but with one of their own an ambassador for the cause, there is even more reason to take part this year and the event will be amped up even more.

Footy Colours Day events can take any shape or form participan­ts like.

Leni’s grandfathe­r and retired record serving president of Yarrawonga Football Netball Club Glenn Brear was also full of praise for his granddaugh­ter.

“Leni’s a marvellous little girl who’s endured quite a bit for her age,” Glenn said.

“She’s always been positive with a cheerful smile and looking forward to bigger and better things in the future.”

 ??  ?? The Ramsdale family Leigh, Leni, Leila, Harry and Kellie are all gearing up for this year’s Footy Colours Days with Sacred Heart Primary School looking to go above and beyond for the cause.
The Ramsdale family Leigh, Leni, Leila, Harry and Kellie are all gearing up for this year’s Footy Colours Days with Sacred Heart Primary School looking to go above and beyond for the cause.
 ??  ?? Yarrawonga local Leni Ramsdale, sporting her favourtie team of Hawthorn’s colours with two fellow cancer survivors Hailey and Maya are part of the Fight Cancer Foundation­s Footy Colours Days nine inspiring Patient Ambassador­s.
Yarrawonga local Leni Ramsdale, sporting her favourtie team of Hawthorn’s colours with two fellow cancer survivors Hailey and Maya are part of the Fight Cancer Foundation­s Footy Colours Days nine inspiring Patient Ambassador­s.

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