10 May 2019
Camp Quality Visits Lyneham Primary
Paige Rule, 5, and big sister Phoebe, 6, with Camp Quality puppets Kylie and Mel. (Photo: Brenton Sloane).
Paige Rule, 5, is just starting to trace letters, play with new friends and learn about the world in her first year of school.
Last October, just a few months before she started Kindergarten, Paige was diagnosed with leukaemia, a blood cancer affecting thousands of children across Australia.
Paige was rushed to Canberra Hospital, before being transferred shortly after to Sydney Children’s Hospital. There, Paige lived with her mother Kate out of the Ronald McDonald House for two months.
Kate said since the initial diagnosis shock it was tough going.
“I basically packed up our life in 15 minutes and moved us to Sydney,” Kate said. “It’s exhausting, but we’ve had a lot of support from the school.”
Paige and older sister Phoebe, 6, attend Lyneham Primary School. While she has made lots of friends and learned a lot already, she has had to frequently travel to Sydney for continued chemotherapy treatment.
Last week, the school invited Camp Quality to put on a puppet show for Paige and the school’s kindergarten classes. The kids loved the show, laughing, clapping and talking to the puppets, Kylie and Mel, while learning about leukaemia.
Paige said she ‘liked everything in the show’. She also said she had met Kylie before – at hospital – and that she liked her hat.
Kate said the puppet show was an example of the ‘amazing’ support her family had received from Lyneham Primary.
“The school is very inclusive, and they’ve been amazing in their support of us,” Kate said.
“The students and teachers will often send us great videos and photos of support when we have to be away for treatment.
“Paige’s kindy class has a ‘Paige Jr’ monkey toy, who takes Paige’s place in the classroom when we’re away… and shows how much all the kids are thinking of Paige when she’s not there.
“The school community also recently raised $7,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation through the World’s Greatest Shave, so they’ve really done a lot both for us and the cause.”
There is still a lot of treatment ahead for Paige, but Kate says her daughter has a strength beyond her years.
“She never whinges or complains, she just gets on with it,” Kate said. “She is really brave… and so resilient. Paige is a little warrior.”
For more information or to donate to the Leukaemia Foundation, visit their website.
For more information or to donate to Camp Quality, visit their website.
Camp Quality put on a puppet show at Lyneham Primary School last week. (Photo: Brenton Sloane)