SHE’S fighting a rare bone cancer and is undergoing gruelling chemotherapy, yet Amy Fransen wants a home tutor to help her with school work so she can one day realise her dream of becoming a scientist.
On top of that, Amy, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is in a cast that extends from her ribs to her toes after an 11-hour operation to remove a cancerous tumour the size of a tennis ball from her pelvis and bladder.
She is still undergoing aggressive chemotherapy.
Life for the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School grade 3 pupil and her mum Brenda changed forever with the child’s shock diagnosis of Ewing’s Sarcoma – a rare cancer of the bone and soft tissue – in August last year.
At first Amy was misdiagnosed as having growing pains and when she began going to the toilet 10 times before bed, her mum was told it was an overactive bladder.
Later doctors discovered it was pressure from the tumour, which had been growing inside her for three years.
On June 15, Amy underwent a marathon surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital which involved replacing the diseased pelvic bone with a bone from her right leg and then repairing her bladder where the tumour had broken through.
Since the diagnosis Amy has undergone 12 courses of chemotherapy, blood transfusions and last Christmas her long blonde hair began falling out.
Yet despite all her suffering, Amy is keen to continue with her studies – something that her mum is unable to cram into her already busy schedule. Mrs Fransen takes care of Amy around the clock, changing nappies that Amy is forced to wear because she is immobilised by the cast and turning her every two hours.
So far the little girl has only managed to attend nine hours at school this year, and Mrs Fransen fears she is already slipping behind in simple tasks, like forgetting how to tie her shoes or do basic calculations.
Now, single mum Mrs Fransen wants to raise funds to get a tutor to teach Amy at home, as well as to buy equipment to cope with her specific medical needs. Her Bayswater primary school held a sausage sizzle to help with costs – but the expenses to pay for a tutor have not yet been covered.
A tutor would also help lessen the child’s isolation.
Mrs Fransen is worried that even a minor infection could wreak devastation.
“When she was first diagnosed they told me her prognosis was 50 to 70 per cent survival, but they haven’t said anything since the surgery,” she said.
In the meantime Mrs Fransen carries on trying to make life as happy as possible for her little girl.
“I promised her that this journey would be together, from the start to the finish.”
Help Amy by donating to:
Amy Anne Isabel Fransen
BSB 033 187
Account # 242 843
Your donation will help pay for a tutor for Amy.