Friday, December 28, 2012


22nd to 28th December 2012

May the gift of love, the gift of peace and the gift of happiness not only live in your heart at Christmas but throughout the coming year.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and in 2013 may the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow and may your year ahead sparkle with moments of love, laughter, contentment, joy and goodwill towards others.

As you all know I have been working hard during December working on my final fund raising event for the year, my spectacular Christmas Light Display. 

It was a lot of work putting everything together especially the lights, the entertainment and ideas to make it an extraordinary experience for those who got to see it. 
I am so very excited to let you all know that due to the splendiferous generosity of those in the Community my light display raised a grand total of $2126.95 which has already been sent to The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Research Fund.  It was an amount beyond my expectations and I feel so touched by those who donated and together we will make a difference and find a cure for this horrendous disease one day in the future, so a huge thank you.  I have included some photographs throughout this Blog entry for you to enjoy.

Christmas has been such a magnificent time but it has also been a tiring time for me especially with my pain, which torments me each and every day.  But having family and friends around who care so much about me and make me smile helps ease that pain just  a little.

I did some baking on Christmas Eve making some star cookies, absolutely delicious chocolate Christmas Tree cup cakes which had a very special surprise in the middle - a strawberry and very moreish coconut ice.  At night we watched some of the Carols by Candlelight on television before leaving goodies for Santa and the Reindeer and heading off to bed.

Christmas Day was quiet and the weather was also very unseasonal, so we spent much of the day playing Sydney Monopoly which I received as a gift from Tess.  Jarrett was the winner on the day, he played very strategically and edged out a very determined Mum, I came third, Nalani fourth and poor Dad was out quite early.

On Boxing Day we had a second Christmas with Nana and Pop coming over and we opened presents on that day also and having a lovely barbeque lunch together. 

These last few days have been lazy ones, resting, watching some DVD's that we received as Christmas gifts and reading books that we also received as gifts. 

With this year almost over, I have thought back to all that has happened; we celebrated Nalani's 18th Birthday, I had my 14th Birthday then found out that I had tumours on my spinal cord which were incurable,  we went to the Canberra Show as a family, I had some radiation which was so quick compared to my first lot, I had my second book Theodore and Friends - Theodore is Left Out published and all proceeds went to The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Research Fund, I wrote a special list and have got to do things like go for a ride in a classic mini, have a Hummer Ride, compete in the Women and Girls Fun Run achieving a better time and place than the year before, do the School Cross Country in my wheelchair, go up Black Mountain Tower and look out over my splendiferous city, compete at High Noon athletics competitions, have Christmas in July, saw Theodore go Rock Climbing, given Olympic and Paralympic Souvenirs, gone to the Zoo and Aquarium met a Cheetah, fed white lions, tigers and a bear, had an extra special Ferry Ride and Party, received a gold medal from my oncologist, went to a Cat Show, had an asteroid named after me, competed in five events at the school athletics carnival and had a Christmas Light Display. 

I feel that I am so blessed to have experienced these amazing things, in some ways I think I have done more this year than what some people may do in a lifetime, that is why I think that everyone should go out and make the most of every single day of their lives because you don't know what is around the corner or how much time you have on this Earth, so please don't waste it. 

This year I have also continued with what is so dear to my heart and my greatest dream and that is to contribute to helping finding a cure for paediatric brain tumours, I so passionately believe that no children in the future should have to suffer as myself and many others have with this absolutely hideous disease. 

Next year I will continue with my effort to continue to raise awareness and funds, every dollar does count and I know that it is so greatly appreciated by those doing the research.  Helping others gives you a sense of worth, hope, courage, love and lights your heart. 

Another huge thank you to everyone who follows my Blog, to those who leave such inspiring and caring messages, you all really make a difference to my life, giving me strength, courage and determination each and every day.

Friday, December 21, 2012


15th to 21st December 2012

Only four days until Christmas, what does Christmas mean to you?  To me it is about love, laughter and giving to others.

That is why for my final fundraising event of the year for The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Research Fund, I decided to bring joy to others at Christmas as well as raising those so desperately needed funds for research by having a Christmas Light Display.

I organised exactly how I wanted the display to look with a light nativity with an Angel watching over and a colourful flashing star.  I have my special wooden decorations; Mr and Mrs Claus and some very lovable elves and Dad and I even made our own Santa's Workshop to complete the scene.  Then on the rooftop is a Santa in his sleigh and a Santa stuck in the Chimney (I think he had too much milk and cookies).  Then there are four reindeer, a train, a Santa with stars, a Santa coming down the chimney, a Merry Christmas Sign, presents, a flashing tree, a glittering Santa, a small sleigh, Candy Canes, optic fibre trees and more flashing lights

I have even had buskers, a bubble machine, nail painting, special little treats and gifts and even Santa, Mrs Claus, elves and an Angel have appeared.

My goal has been to raise at least $500 for the fund, the lights finish on Christmas Day and then I will find out the grand total.  I must thank Dad, Mum, Nalani, Jarrett, Monique, Annie, Sarah, Sue, Anna, Tass, Gloria, Carla, Steph, Emily, Tess, Sarah M, Dianne, Alex, Kay, Gail, Jake for their contributions as well as the many people who have made donations.  It is because of your Christmas spirit and giving that we can contribute to research to one day find a cure for this hideous disease.

My favourite thing about my Christmas Light Display is seeing the joy on people's faces who have come to see it, their joy has lifted my spirits and made me feel that I have made a difference to their lives.

On Sunday I had a little concert for my family, every year I have done it for my family as a gift for them.  This year I sang some of my favourite Christmas Carols for them.  They really enjoyed it and gave me the hugest hugs at the end. 

I had my weekly physiotherapy appointment with Kaitlyn, it was so wonderful to have her work on my painful spine and also my sore right heel using the ultrasound.  She has truly been my guardian angel this year, just as Rhiannon was to me before she left Canberra. 

Later in the week I was lucky to have morning tea with Imogen, she lost her son Benny to a brain tumour in 2009 if you would like to read about his story you can go to this website, they are doing fundraising for brain stem tumours.  She has a beautiful new baby boy, Sam and I got to meet him, he is just so gorgeous and he did not want to let go of my finger. 

Today Tess came to visit me, it is always so splendiferous to see her and her cuddles are so lovely and she always makes me smile.  My Nana and Pop also arrived today, it will be so magnificent to spend time with them over the Christmas period. 

Apart from pain killers, physiotherapy and heat packs, hugs are a wonderful way to take away your pain.  I feel so fortunate to have people who hug me and help take some of my pain away.

Over the next few days it will be a time of seeing other family and friends and sharing this wonderful time of the year with them.  

Wishing my many followers a very Merry Christmas may it be blessed with love, laughter and precious memories and may your New Year be one that you will seek to achieve goals, don't be afraid to try something new, or to reach out and help others. 

Friday, December 14, 2012


7th to 14th December 2012

With only eleven days to Christmas it is a busy time, a time where we sometimes forget the important things in life in the rush to shop.  If we stop for a while, remember to smile and spread joy.  If we give to others rather than expecting to receive then our hearts are set alight with love and joy.

My last few days of school this week were spent taking part in the Medieval Activities, I made a dress, using a dress I already had and adding long flowing sleeves and an over skirt, I made a special headpiece made of wool, flowers and ribbon.  On Tuesday we had a special assembly where all the groups came together and showed the rest of the Grade what we had done.  It was a special time seeing how talented people are and I also learnt some new information about Medieval times. 

Our Medieval day ended with a special luncheon, a spit roast with meat, salads and roast potato and pumpkin.  I think it was a magnificent way to finish off what has been a challenging yet totally enjoyable year. 

Presenting the Pathfinder Award at the Middle School Celebration was such an honour for me, I think that the person who won it was very deserving and will set an example to others to forge a path in life and think of others to make a difference.

On Monday night it was our Senior School Celebration, it is a night where the students from Years 9 to 11 come together to recognise fellow students achievements.  You can imagine my total surprise when I was awarded not one but two awards.  One was a subject award for English, which I was so thrilled about because I had worked so dedicatedly in English especially in my Romeo and Juliet project  and my speech about A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove, which I achieved 100% in both.  Then I was just so humbled, surprised and honoured to be awarded a special award, only one student in Senior School receives it each year.  It was the award for Personal Achievement.  The Head of Senior School gave a speech before awarding it, he mentioned how I was so dedicated to my studies, how I had represented the school in sports, continued to contribute to the School and community and showed so much courage and determination despite adversity.  I actually felt just a little embarrassed about receiving the award, I am sure that there are other students in the School who are far more deserving than I am.  I think I have said this many times, I have been given a journey and I just try to remain positive and make the most out of each and every day, it is just what you do when you face something like this. 

I was so very excited though to see Jarrett also receive two awards, he got an Academic Excellence in PE and then an application award for Mathematics.  He was also surprised by his awards, but he too has worked really dedicatedly this year, I am so proud of him. 

The Principal in his speech on the night started by saying "Never, never, never give up", he then went on to talk about Neil Armstrong and his determination and courage in his life and what he was able to achieve.  Every person should always believe in themselves and definitely never give up especially on their dreams.

I had physiotherapy and again Kaitlyn, who is has worked so tirelessly to try to assist me with my pain this year, worked on my spine, it has been extremely painful and causing me so many problems.  She is able to provide some relief and I am so grateful to her for that. 

I also had an appointment with my paediatrician, he too has been so wonderful this year.  He is very supportive and is always there to listen and try to help me.  I have to see him again on 8th January, he is going to keep a close eye on me now. 

Tonight I have Interclub again, last week despite been sore, competed in discus and shot put and it was so worth it because I achieved a personal best in discus throwing the 350g discus 6.36m and then throwing the 1.5kg shot put threw it 2.22m.  Having the lighter weights makes it a bit easier for me and does not hurt my spine as much. 

Next week will be splendiferous because my Nana and Pop are coming to spend some time over Christmas with us and my Uncle James and Aunty Kate.  I always love to see them and give them huge hugs, I think Grandparents hugs are very special. 

Last Christmas we went to Queensland to be with them, at that time I never expected that my journey would take another twist.  I remember having back pain when I was there but never expected to hear the devastating news I did.   I have asked Santa for a surprise this year for Christmas, I secretly wish it was a magic wand to take away my pain and make me better, but I don't think there is one of those anywhere.  So I will continue to find an inner strength to try to keep fighting, hoping a cure can be found.

Most days now I find I am very weary and have to have a sleep, rest helps your body to recover and continue to fight.  I have found that I have to take ondansetron more often to help cope with nausea, it works very well, which is a good thing because I hate been sick. 

I will have to start looking through the cook books and look for some delicious treats to make for Christmas, I am already going to make a gingerbread house and coconut ice. 

To anyone who is travelling during this time, stay safe and alert and don't rush to be where you have to be, take your time and enjoy the beautiful landscapes around you. 

With many thanks again to all those who read my Blog, I truly appreciate your support and often read back on the many comments to give me strength and courage.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


1st  to 7th December 2012

I think that somewhere over each of our rainbows, the skies are always blue, the sun is continually shinning and that all our deepest dreams we dare to dream really do come true.

With exams over at school we had normal classes for part of the week and then we began our special Medieval activities.  I did Medieval Fashion, we learnt about the type of fashion that the upper and lower classes wore, what men and women wore, what the clothing was made from and what accessories they put with their clothing. Did you know that Medieval clothes provided information about the status of the person wearing them. The clothing and fashion during the Medieval era of the Middle Ages was dominated and highly influenced by the Kings and Queens of the era. Only the wealthy could dress in fashionable clothes.

After we did our research we were given the opportunity to design our own fashion.  I thoroughly enjoyed doing this as I really love beautiful dresses.  Then using what materials are available at school and only hand sewing we will be making our designs next week.  At a special assembly next week all the groups will then be doing presentations, there are groups doing art, some doing a play, some working on games, buildings and weapons. 

On the weekend I met with my friend Ally, we had a photograph together with Santa.  We had wanted to do it last year but he had been on his lunch break.  It was fantastic doing that with Ally, she has been a really terrific friend to me.

Then on Sunday I was humbled by having the Andante Andante Abba Choir perform for me and my family.  They sang a repertoire of Abba songs which had us tapping our feet.  Then they sang my very favourite Christmas Carol, Silent Night.  Their music filled my heart with joy, the gift of music is so splendiferous.  This is a link if you would like more information about the choir.

I also had my physiotherapy appointment with Kaitlyn, this time she worked on my foot and right knee which have been very painful.  I wanted them to feel more comfortable as I am hoping to throw discus and shot put at Interclub on Saturday.

It is Middle School Celebration tonight and I have been asked to present the Pathfinder Award that I won last year to the student who has won it this year.  I remember how honoured I felt by winning that award last year and I have tried to continue to live up to that award by continuing to blaze a trail not only in my education but also trying to help and inspire others.

We have our Senior School Celebration on Monday night, it should be a very special night celebrating the achievements of the year.

You may be wondering why I am typing my Blog in larger font, it is because it is much easier for me to see, when the font is smaller I have to strain to look at it and I then tend to also put my neck forward and strain it and anything I can do to avoid straining and having pain is helpful.

My pain continues to be my enemy, some days are a little better than others but sometimes I have to fight constantly, I fight it with trying to be brave and positive, my pain killers, heat and massages.

Remember to look for your rainbow, believe in yourself and never let go of your dreams. 
Have a nice Day!