Emma's cancer battle an inspiration to all

2706 beads represent years of treatment

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2014
Child cancer
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
HAPPY AND HEALTHY: Emma Watson, of Urenui School, has a total of 2706 beads of courage earned over her years of treatment for leukemia.

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Emma Watson loves reading and writing and plans on having a disco-themed party for her seventh birthday in July.

Her stories always start with the sentence "once upon a time", she told the Taranaki Daily News yesterday.

Playing with her friends are also among her day's highlight at Urenui School, Emma said.

But things had not always been so cheerful for Emma who was diagnosed with leukemia when she was just two years old.

The 2011 face for the Child Cancer Foundation has collected 2706 beads over her years of treatment.

Her purple heart-shaped bead meant the most as it signified the end of her treatment, mum Joanne said.

March is Child Cancer Foundation's annual appeal month and donations will allow the organisation to continue supporting children like Emma and her family.

Mrs Watson knows first hand the invaluable support the foundation offers families.

"They have Christmas parties for the children, teddy bear picnics and organise for Santa to visit the children because they can't go to the mall like normal children," she said.

Practical support like phone cards and petrol vouchers are also given to families with children undergoing treatment at Auckland's Starship Children Hospital, Mrs Watson said.

"The emotional support offered was just as valuable," she said. "It's a listening ear from someone who is not a doctor."

Mrs Watson and husband Michael were both "very, very happy and excited" the day they dropped Emma off at school, she said.

"Just a year and a half before, we were fighting for her life but here we were on that day, sending her to school," Mrs Watson said.

Going to school to do its fun activities had always been on Emma's mind, she said.

Emma's days are now filled with play dates with her friends and Mrs Watson hope it will be the start of a normal childhood for her.

Real estate agent Kris Rasmussen, of Professionals, is organising a breakfast and charity auction fundraiser on April 11 from 7.30am-9am at The Mayfair.

Tickets $30 each or table of 10 for $250.

Guests interested in the fundraiser can contact 06 758 5632 or email info@nakirealestate.co.nz.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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