THE only way is up now for Tarryn Wallis, the 13-year-old battler who’s beaten leukaemia.
A year ago Tarryn was diagnosed with the disease, immediately flown to Sydney to undergo intensive chemotherapy. Earlier this month doctors gave Tarryn and her family the good news her body was clear of leukaemia cells.
“She’s in remission, she’s done so well,” Tarryn’s mother Shellie Cafe said.
“Tarryn has struggled with health from birth and has had probably about 40 operations in her life and then to be diagnosed with leukaemia, it’s tough. But she’s such a happy person, always smiling and she never complains.”
Shellie said that without the support of family, friends and the broader community the battle to beat cancer would have been so much more difficult.
“We’ve had so much support from the Camden Haven community, friends and family,” Shellie said.
“We have really appreciated all the cards, gifts, phone calls from students and teachers at Kendall Public School. We’ve had so many people caring, guiding us, offering thoughts and prayers. It’s been amazing.”
Last year Tarryn was named student of the year at Kendall Public School. Principal Jodie Paterson said Tarryn had educated and united the community through her ability to rise to a challenge, her determination and her ability to bring out the best in others.
“Any teacher can teach you how to read, how to add, how to solve a problem,” Ms Paterson said in her tribute last year.
“To teach others patience, kindness and compassion, tolerance and caring presents a greater challenge. We have a student who does this without even being aware, and without any expectation of anything in return. Tarryn has taught us all many valuable lessons.”
Shellie said there were several key people she would like to thank: the Camden Haven community, Professor Glenn Marshall at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Kirsten Adnum clinical nurse consultant at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, the team at the oncology ward at the Sydney Children’s Hospital and the other wards Tarryn spent time in, Ronald McDonald House Randwick, Port Macquarie oncology, Port Macquarie Base Hospital, Dr David McDonald, Dr Dianne Houghton, students and teachers at Kendall Public School.
Tarryn has started back at school in the Westport High School support unit and is loving being back in the community.
She is also looking forward to getting back into horse riding again.
Tarryn will remain on chemotherapy for the next 12 months and, if all goes well, will complete the remission period in five years and be officially free of cancer.