Posted in SU QLD
When the 2017 school year began, Asher was a small girl carrying a big load.
Starting at a new school after moving from another city is daunting enough for most children, but Asher also carried the grief of losing her eldest brother suddenly and tragically the month before.
As if this weren’t enough, she struggled with survivor guilt, trauma and a lack of academic confidence from being diagnosed with very high-risk Leukaemia and undergoing a bone marrow transplant during her prep year in 2013.
Nervous, new and carrying an enormous emotional load, Asher needed somebody who would care, listen and support her through this difficult and transitional time. Through your selfless, bighearted support, she found that ‘somebody’.
In fact, what she found was so much more. In Chappy Fiona, Asher discovered a gentle and caring support that lay outside of, yet complemented, her work in the classroom.
Fiona was a safety net for Asher. She was someone who would listen to her talk, provide comfort and insight, encourage her to use her strengths and challenge her to be the best version of herself.
Whether celebrating the highs or navigating the lows, Chappy Fiona was there for Asher, and her whole family.
When Asher reached the milestone of five years cancer free, Chappy Fiona was there baking cupcakes, blowing up baloons and working with Asher’s teacher to surprise her with a celebration party and card signed by every class member.
“Asher has always been incredibly brave, and there were days that were extremely tough,” says Chappy Fiona.
“I so admire her. Last year, Asher was given the Chaplaincy Award for always wanting to help others – even though she was going through so much herself.”
“I’ve been a chaplain for over 7 years, and I absolutely love knowing that the children feel comfortable enough to come and have a chat about what they’re going through.”
When Fiona heard about Asher’s charity work to raise awareness of childhood cancer, she encouraged Asher to share her journey with the school and held Funky Hair Day for the Leukaemia Foundation. Chappy Fiona also supported Asher and other students through a resilience program, preparing them for the big step up to high school next year.
Most recently, when Asher’s grandfather passed, Fiona was there again providing kindness, compassion and understanding to Asher and her parents.
“Chappy Fiona cares about everyone! It doesn’t matter what’s happening, or how I’m feeling, I always know I’m cared about and that means everything,” says Asher.
For her parents too, school chaplaincy has been transformative. The positive impact that ‘Chappy’ has had on Asher has been profound. I should know, I’m Asher’s mum.
Thank you to everyone who supports school chaplaincy. You are bringing families like mine joy and hope in times of great need.
**Special thanks to Asher’s mum, Kim Wright, who co- wrote this beautiful story.
Thank you for your heartfelt support of chaplaincy in schools! Please continue to support this
vital work. Click here to donate: www.suqld.org.au/donate