Tamara was at a pivotal point in high school when she was diagnosed with leukaemia. Her treatment meant she was in hospital for nearly a year, missing out on crucial time in the classroom with her peers.
That’s where Fight Cancer Foundation’s education support program, Back on Track, at The Children's Hospital at Westmead was able to help. We provided Tamara with the support of qualified teacher, Trisha Donovan, while she received and recovered from treatment. As Tamara's mum Suzie describes in the below testimonial, having Trisha by her side made a huge difference to Tamara's confidence and emotional well-being.
Testimonial from Tara's mum, Suzie.
Tamara at the time of transitioning back to her regular school.
“We were blessed to meet Trisha Donovan from the Back on Track Program while Tamara was undergoing treatment for leukaemia last year. Tamara spent close to a year in hospital, the majority of her time in isolation, receiving chemotherapy and then a bone marrow transplant. It was physically and emotionally overwhelming for Tamara, but it was always a special day when we had a visit from Trisha. Tamara had lost all contact from her friends and school peers and had also lost her confidence and ability to continue any schoolwork. Trisha was able to gently break down what Tamara’s interests were and help her choose which assignment Tamara would like to attempt to work on. She then broke it down for her in manageable chunks and helped her gather information for it.
Trisha was also instrumental in Tamara’s return to school. She liaised with her school and developed a Back to School transition plan that made recommendations on what actions were needed to ensure Tamara had all the support needed for her return back to school. This included informing the school about Tamara’s treatment and how that would affect her school life and what actions the school could take. The plan covered cognitive, physical and emotional adjustments that needed to be implemented and there was also an attendance plan that would allow Tamara to ease back into school.
Tamara was able to finish off Year 11 and is looking forward to Year 12 this year.
The 12 months Tamara spent in hospital were extremely difficult times for us but we also have some beautiful memories from amazing, selfless individuals like Trisha Donovan who we will always be grateful to. She was able to lift Tamara’s spirits and gave her encouragement to find her passion in life.”