Home' Aurora : Aurora October 2012 Contents 5
www.mn.catholic.org.au Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
THE RASH THAT appeared on Hannah
Sam six years ago turned out to be the
last thing her parents expected.
"We thought she might be allergic to
something," her father Scott said.
He and his wife Tracey worried as the rash
persisted and they took Hannah for "many
"She was diagnosed with acute
lymphoblastic leukaemia on 26 June
2006. It's the common childhood cancer,
but we never thought this would happen,"
The next day three year old Hannah began
nine months of intensive chemotherapy at
John Hunter Hospital, followed by a chemo
tablet every night for two years.
"You go to a very dark place...it's harrowing
to hold your child down in the operating
theatre while she's screaming 'no, Mummy
and Daddy I don't want that' when they do
a subcutaneous [under the skin] injection."
Tracey's sister took care of baby son
Joshua while the other three Sams
travelled between hospital and home at
"All your attention goes to the sick child and
the brothers and sisters get left behind.
It's hard for them too," Tracey said.
"We wouldn't be together if it wasn't for
Camp Quality (CQ). They shone the light
that we needed."
The children's cancer charity
came into the Sams' lives six
weeks into Hannah's chemo.
It was the first time Hannah
"I remember the shaving cream
fight and the lollies from the
anaesthetist," Hannah grinned.
Slight and pale, Hannah's appearance
belies her strength. Although not yet in the
'five year clear 'mark, she responded well
to the treatment.
Inspired by his daughter's experience,
Scott Sam and 30 other volunteers
pedalled 1000kms and visited 19 primary
schools for CQ's 2012 "1000 K's 4 Kids -
Ipswich to Newcastle".
Scott explained, "Hannah's done a
Triathlon and participates in school sports
carnivals. She was my motivation. It's my
way to pay CQ back."
From September 7-16 the team, including
a support crew of 15, a bike mechanic
and medical staff cycled through
Ipswich, Toowoomba, Warwick,
Tenterfield, Glen Innes,
Uralla, Tamworth, Gunnedah,
Murrurundi, Singleton and
"We rode for 10 days, about six
to seven hours each day but 10 on
the first," Scott recalled.
At each school, with the help of volunteers
from Queensland and NSW, the group
presented a half hour puppet program
about cancer, the treatment and side
"It's encouraging kids not to laugh because
someone comes back to school very
skinny and white, with no hair," said Scott.
Tracey adds, "It's OK to wear a special hat
or scarf. Cancer is not contagious, if you
cough on someone they won't get it."
Sporting the CQ colours of red, orange,
yellow, blue, purple and pink, 45 exhausted
but elated volunteers streamed into The
Junction at midday on a recent Sunday with
a total of $232,000.
"CQ needs $400,000 to run its programs
and camps. We met half of their budget
with this ride." Scott looked pleased.
Another successful fundraiser was
Hannah's school walkathon that
"Corpus Christi Primary at Waratah has
been fantastic, they got right behind
us. There are only 196 students in the
school and Thomas Fulmer from Corpus
Christi also went through CQ, so there are
at least two families touched by cancer,"
"It completely changes the direction of your
life and opens your eyes to all the people
in this world who do incredible things for
You may like to visit
By SIOBHAN MCALARY
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a very dark
Laughter is the best medicine: Hannah, Joshua and Harper Sam with Tracey and Scott.
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