It was smiles all-round when the Camp Quality puppets paid a special visit to St Michael’s School this week.
The visiting puppets — Kylie and Dean —were in Deniliquin to support the Byrne family, whose daughter Elisabeth was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia called t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (TALL) in April last year.
Controlled by Elleni Karagiannidis and Josie Lane, the puppets visit Australian schools and hospitals to help children understand cancer as well as ‘‘how to be a good friend’’.
With the Deniliquin esCarpade fundraiser teams also making an appearance, Lissy’s mum Lisa said the visit was much more than just a humorous skit.
‘‘Camp Quality has supported us since diagnosis,’’ she said.
‘‘The puppets visit the Royal Children’s Hospital weekly to brighten up the children’s day.
‘‘Laughter is the best medicine and we cannot thank Camp Quality enough for all they do for our cancer kids.
‘‘A big thank you to our school community for their support and kindness during these long months of treatment and absence from school. The teachers have kept Lissy on track with her level of schooling.’’
Until February this year, Lissy and Mrs Byrne were permanently based in Melbourne where the eight year-old was receiving treatment at the RCH.
Lissy is still required to return to Melbourne and Shepparton for regular appointments, however the brave youngster remains as ‘‘determined and inspirational’’ as ever.
‘‘With 11 months of treatment remaining, Elisabeth has daily medicine, scheduled IV chemotherapy monthly, theatre treatment plus IV chemo every three months,’’ Mrs Byrne said.
‘‘Every month it takes Lissy nearly two weeks to recover and return to full school days.’’
To keep updated with her progress, ‘like’ the Facebook page — Elisabeth’s Journey with TALL.