Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tree plant marks last treatment for cancer

By SARAH CODDINGTON - North Shore Times
Last updated 05:00 24/09/2009

Bianca White
NEW BEGINNINGS: Bianca White plants a tree at Oteha Valley School in celebration of her last chemotherapy treatment.

Bianca White celebrated an end to more than two years of chemotherapy treatment by planting a tree.

The six-year-old who featured on the Dominion Post website with the blog – Growing up with Cancer – held a special planting ceremony at Oteha Valley School to celebrate a new start with her classmates.

The year 1 student was diagnosed with acute lympho blastic leukaemia, a common child cancer in 2007.

Just before her fourth birthday party Bianca was diagnosed with the disease in Wellington.

After problems at the hospital the family made the move to Auckland’s Starship.

Her father Terence White says their daughter does not realise the significance of this day but she is now looking forward and happy.

"I want her to grow up like other kids, ride bikes, fall off and scrape her knees," says Mr White.

He says until now she has grown up with doctors and nurses and now it is time for her to be a child.

Bianca chose all the special people she wanted to be part of her tree planting ceremony, including friends, teachers and the junior school.

She then put a capsule underneath her six-year-old magnolia

When she turns 21 she will come back to dig up a jar that holds memories of the

Her family also celebrated the end of treatment by buying her and her sister Caitlyn a new bike.

During the past two years Bianca has collect more than 1000 beads from the Child Cancer Foundation, each represents a part of her cancer treatment.

Although Bianca is not in the clear she has finished treatment and is only taking preventive medication.

She will continue hospital check ups for the rest of her life.