“Some of the younger kids at school called her ‘baldy,’ and the older children were worried they were going to ‘catch’ what she had.” - Kelly, Sophie’s mum
Sophie was just six years old when her parents received the awful news - she had ALL - Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. She went through chemotherapy, steroid treatments and endless tests and needles.
The worst part for her were the daily injections she had to have in her stomach.
After almost a year of treatment the doctors said Sophie could return to school. But she was completely bald and pale. Her parents were worried about her being bullied or left out at school because of her cancer.
Sophie was also worried about how the other children would react to her appearance. Mum and Dad got in touch with Camp Quality to ask for help.
Camp Quality puppeteers performed our little kids’ show at her school, her exhausted parents sat up the back and watched. Mum Kelly remembers it well:
“I sat at the back of the room and watched the performance, so I could see how the kids reacted. I saw them looking back at Sophie and you could see their realisation dawning, like ‘Oh, that’s what Sophie must have had.”
They explained everything to the kids in an age appropriate way, putting on a show for the whole school.
“The puppets made Sophie so happy. And they really helped the other children to understand what she was going through. From that point on, all the issues and problems stopped, and Sophie could just get on with her life.”
Thanks to generous Australians, Puppet Power allowed Sophie to attend school and focus on the important things - her little friends, learning and having a regular childhood.
Sadly, this is not the case for many children. We receive letters and emails that would break your heart. They're requests for Camp Quality to bring puppet shows to schools where kids are struggling. Some kids lose someone they love to cancer and just aren't copping well.
It's not unusual that the demand is so high that we heartbreakingly struggle to meet all requests for a puppet show within a reasonable time-frame.
The wait times can be far too long for distressed kids who are suffering after already going through so much.
Thanks to Puppet Power, Sophie was able to have a 'normal' experience of school. She has good memories of school filled with fun and laughter.
“I love the puppets. My favourite is Mel. My friends stopped saying things about my hair and stuff after the puppets came to my school, so they made me really happy!”