Get Your Skates On

With hospitals and appointments off the agenda for once, kids living with cancer enjoyed a rollicking day of roller skating fun.

The life of a little one diagnosed with cancer can be a rough, lonely road. Treatment requires all too frequent hospital stays, time apart from their families and, even when well enough to be at home, many days isolated from the rest of the world. But, thanks to generous funds donated by Rod Jones from Merredin Energy, ToyBox International was able to partner up with Camp Quality to hold a Fun Day just for these little troopers.

The Camp Quality mantra is ‘laughter is the best medicine’ – a concept beautifully realised in the organisation’s Fun Day. The kids and their families enjoyed an exciting day at Perth’s Morley Rollerdrome, strapping on their skates for a whirl around the rink. A clever balloon artist, face-painting and yummy treats made for an unforgettable day of love and laughter.

While the benefits of a Fun Day might not seem obvious at first, the families are eager to sing its praises. Six-year-old Teneille was diagnosed just after her first birthday, and has never known a life without hospitals. As her mum Sherrie explains, “Her life has never been normal. Initially, she was very behind with her social skills and was quite shy and timid. Camp Quality has really helped with that.”

Not only are the Fun Days a welcome break from the arduous treatment process, they also give families the opportunity to form support networks of shared experience. They also help the kids make friends who understand the world from the same point of view. “It really builds her confidence,” Sherrie says of Teneille. “It makes her feel special and it helps make up for the fun she missed out on during treatment.”

Just like any parent, Sherrie’s greatest wish is that Teneille’s life be filled with joy and happiness. And, judging by the beaming smiles on all of the young faces, Camp Quality’s Fun Day has gone a long way to achieving precisely that.

Troy Barbagallo