A cancer diagnosis brings with it many challenges. Most people would realise that in some ways, your life stops while you deal with your illness. Things like school, sport and social pursuits are put aside while you make the many visits to hospital or spend time isolated at home.
In 2004, the family of Christopher Wise worked with Challenge to launch a scholarship, which encourages the academic and/or extra-curricular pursuits of kids living with cancer through important funding.
Initially the scholarship was offered annually, but when we realised how valued and in demand this support was, it became necessary to award the scholarship twice a year – at the beginning and middle of the school year.
Below you can read Sammy’s story and how the scholarship changed her life for the better.
How did you hear about the scholarship?
Micka told us about the scholarship when I was in the hospital for an MRI. I went up to visit him on ward six and he suggested going for the scholarship and explained what we needed to do to apply.
Why did you apply? What did you use the scholarship money for?
I applied because I wanted to do drama this year, as it’s really fun.
How is that experience?
Great! I love it! At first I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to do drama every night of the week, but now I would like to go to drama at least twice a week.
What does it involve?
I go to drama classes every Monday night. My drama school is called ‘The Drama Company’. In the first term we learnt how to act, especially ‘slapstick’. During term two we made short movies. One movie had no sound and was in black and white. My favourite movie was ‘Funniest Home Videos’. I got to be the host and introduce each act. We made up short skits using shadow puppets in term three.
Now in term four I’m at the stage of making a play for our concert on the 24th of November. As a group, we have worked on creating a play about global warming and sustainability. We were given ideas, and then we made up the play as we went along, acting it out. We always start and end a session with games like ‘Bippity Bippity Bop’, ‘Space Jump’ and ‘Cavaliers’.
How has the experience affected you?
Going to drama has helped me to speak louder and clearer. It’s a fun way to make friends.
Would you encourage others to apply? Why?
Yes I would, because I might not have been able to go to drama and have such a good time. Thank you very much Challenge and Phil and Sue Wise for the scholarship to do drama because I LOVE IT!!!!