A cancer diagnosis is something no parent ever wants to hear. For 9 year old Tamsin (dancer, horse rider and Wellington Children’s Hospital cancer patient), the diagnosis of leukaemia came like a bolt out of the blue and has meant a whirlwind of tests, scans and long term treatment.
Despite what many of the gorgeous smiling pics of Tamsin suggest, having cancer is scary, it can hurt, and it takes an incredible physical and emotional toll on children and their families. Tamsin has kindly agreed to share her story, telling us that, “If it helps people, that makes me happy.”
Mum Hayleigh told us, “It’s something you never imagine you will hear, and at such a terrifying time we were extremely grateful for the hospital and the team right from the moment we arrived. With such a scary journey ahead, being told we were in for the long haul was daunting, but Tamsin was snuggled into some nice warm PJs provided by the hospital for the night, a small comfort that makes a world of difference to a scared child. Wellington Children’s Hospital welcomed us with love and care and have made sure that Tamsin is cared for on every step of this journey ever since.”
Read Tamsin’s story below and in today’s paper at: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/121721760/diagnosed-with-leukemia-aged-7-its-the-little-things–like-a-pair-of-pajamas–that-make-a-difference .
Hayleigh adds, “We had always donated to the Children’s Hospital whenever we could, never knowing how much of a huge role the children’s hospital would play in our lives.”
You too can help by donating to Hospi’s Virtual Jammies in June Appeal HERE.
We wish Tamsin and her family all the very best.
Tamsin’s journey with Wellington Children’s Hospital started on March 28th 2019 when she was suddenly diagnosed with leukaemia. Something you never imagine you will hear, and at such a terrifying time we were extremely grateful for the hospital and the team right from the moment we arrived.
With such a scary journey ahead being told we were in for the long haul was daunting, but Tamsin was snuggled into some nice warm PJs provided by the hospital for the night, a small comfort that makes a world of difference to a scared child.
Within 12 hours we were prepared by the team to head to Christchurch to start treatment, and with no understanding of what was coming next an amazing nurse said, “I’ll be here when you come home” and those reassuring words stuck with us as we went. The quick actions of tests and x-rays and the treatment and support of Tamsin and us as a family during those first hours is something that will stick with us forever. On return, the team in Wellington Children’s Hospital welcomed us with love and care and have made sure that Tamsin is cared for every step of this journey ever since. Through medication, tests, scans, theatre visits, and inpatient stays Tamsin’s team have reassured her, comforted her and supported her in a way that any parent could hope for when seeing their child go through this.
Tamsins journey isn’t a quick one, she will be receiving treatment through until June 2021 in Wellington Children’s Hospital. Throughout treatment there are times when Tamsin is weak, sick, tired and scared; and other times when Tamsin is skipping around the room laughing, joking and playing games. During treatment we watched Tamsin lose all of her energy and muscles and saw her at times so sick, but her positive attitude and energy saw her eager to continue her favourite things, attending dance classes and horse riding lessons and participating in her school production; all of which her team in the hospital were her biggest supporters of. Tamsin is back at school and enjoying each day, she is full of life and when she arrives back in for treatments she tells everyone about her days outside of the hospital.
Through the phases of her treatment Tamsin has spent many hours, days and nights within the walls of the hospital. She has felt safe in Ward Two’s Oncology Unit where she spends a lot of time and knows which bed she likes best, she has found laughter and happiness from visits from Hospi, she has felt secure and safe during treatments through amazing teams of play specialists, social workers, and dietitians, and she has found comfort in seeing the smiling nurses and doctors that she has built trust and friendships with.
For Tamsin and our family Wellington Children’s hospital has not only been somewhere she needs to go but it has become such a special place to us all. The playroom kept her brother and sister busy during visits, there are always games and books for entertainment, and everyone is always happy to help, everyone goes out of their way to make Tamsin smile. We are so extremely grateful to have the services and resources available there for us. We had always donated whenever we could, never knowing how much of a huge role the children’s hospital would play in our lives. We are so excited to see what the new hospital will be like, and have no doubt it will be amazing, Wellington Children’s Hospital and Ward Two’s Oncology Unit will always be our safe space.