Brave Stacie's battle for life
WITH a cheeky smile and a warm heart, Uki girl Stacie Walker will this week begin a battle against a cancer that has already snatched her from her friends and family.
Stacie, 12, will begin intense chemotherapy in the Royal Children's Hospital at Brisbane next week to kill off lymphoma that was discovered in her throat three weeks ago.
It is an intense form of cancer that requires radical chemotherapy to ensure it does not return. If it does, it may resist drugs.
A simple cough alerted doctors to Stacie's illness, which quickly became life-threatening and saw her immediately airlifted to Brisbane to begin early stages of chemo.
Her mother Linnet Zamattia said they expected Stacie to be in hospital for the next six months "if everything goes well".
"The doctors said she was lucky to get this far. We have been told there is so much that can happen and so many side-effects," she said.
"It is really up and down. Some days you feel like hiding under a rock."
Stacie's fight against cancer has taken her away from two of her brothers and all her friends at Stokers Siding Public School.
This is what she has found especially hard to bear.
"She has a hard time missing her friends and school and wondering 'why me', but overall she is well," Ms Zamattia said.
Yesterday her school friends and brothers banded together to wish Stacie a speedy recovery through a special fundraising day at the tiny school.
Acting principal Geoff Coghlan organised a day of head-shaving, hair colouring, games and fun to raise money for the Children's Hospital Banksia Ward where Stacie is being treated.
He also launched an appeal for funds to help defray costs involved with Stacie's family continually being by her side.
"The students have shown they are a very resilient and caring bunch, keeping in touch with Stacie via email," he said.
?"We have also taken car trips to see her and are filming the day so that she can see how much everyone cares about her. This has really brought the school together."
Ms Zamattia said she had been overwhelmed by the support of the local community in the short weeks since Stacie's diagnosis.
"The amount of people who are willing to do anything to help you out are amazing," she said.
"They are so big-hearted and I have so many thank yous, I just love them all.
"Where we are staying at the Childhood Cancer Support place has been amazing. They have provided so much support and are run on donations. Without them I do not know how we would cope."
The general public can get behind Stacie's fight against cancer by donating to the Royal Children's Hospital's Banksia Ward or her family by contacting the Stokers Siding Public School on 6677 9236. They can also donate to the Childhood Cancer Support unit, phone 3252 4719.