By LACHLAN MOORHEAD
CANCER doesn’t discriminate.
The devastating illness affects people old and young, with the latter being the focus of Chalcot Lodge Primary School’s recent A Day in May campaign.
The Endeavour Hills school held the special event last Tuesday to raise money for Challenge, a not-for-profit organisation that provides daily support to children and families living with the harsh reality of cancer.
Four-and-half-year-old Vivianne – whose older brothers Vincent, 8 , and Oliver, 6, already attend Chalcot – will join the school as a kinder student next year.
She was diagnosed with leukaemia more than a year ago, now in remission, and takes nightly chemotherapy tablets to treat the condition.
Vivianne’s world is the world of many young children and adults diagnosed with cancer, one where she finds herself in hospital every month and needing to undertake a blood test every fortnight.
Vivianne’s caring mother Raina Tamas said the Chalcot community had been a great support for her and her family.
“I think it was a big deal because it’s such a small school community and all the families are quite close, we do dinners and that kind of thing,” she said.
“It was really big shock to everybody when she was diagnosed. A lot of people didn’t know how to deal with it.”
In order to help support Vivianne and others like her, the staff and students from Chalcot held the special Day in May event, in which Australia’s Got Talent winner and Challenge Ambassador Andrew De Silva, who has also battled caner, visited the school to entertain with a morning of music and singing.
Raina said the fundraiser was a special moment for her two boys, who she has been open and honest to about their younger sister’s condition.
“When I dropped them off at school that morning they were so excited,” she said.
“It’s been really hard for them, being boys they don’t open up as much.
“We explain to them everything and what it is, and what could happen.
“They may feel a little bit left out of the whole journey.”
But after Tuesday, Raina and her family were reminded they were not alone.
The fundraiser saw Chalcot donate $500 to the Challenge program.