Fairies make little battler's wish come true

By Elly Strang

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IN THE PINK: Alicia Steenson, who had a visit from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, loves dressing up in a princess dress, shoes and fairy wings.PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK
IN THE PINK: Alicia Steenson, who had a visit from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, loves dressing up in a princess dress, shoes and fairy wings.PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK

A 4-year-old girl recovering from leukaemia had her dream come true yesterday when two fairies turned up to her Welcome Bay home.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation organised for Sammy Carter and her daughter from the Fairy House in Tauranga to deliver an iPad, speakers, and fairy dress-ups to Alicia Steenson's house.

"I love the iPad cover and speakers because pink's my favourite colour," Alicia said.

She asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a "real life fairy" to give her an iPad so she could Skype her four brothers and sisters when she's in hospital.

"A lot of people said it was a very mature choice for a 4-year-old," mother Vicky Steenson said.

Alicia said she loved getting to dress up in a princess dress, shoes and fairy wings.

Mrs Steenson said one of the highlights of Alicia's day was having friends and family to celebrate with.

"She's been cooped up for so long, I think having everyone here cheered her up heaps."

Alicia has done eight rounds of chemotherapy since she was diagnosed in January this year to treat Stage 4 Burkitt lymphoma.

The treatments ended in May and, on June 25, she had a CT scan and an ultrasound, which came back all clear.

Mrs Steenson says Alicia now wants to get back to normal life.

"She wants her hair to grow back and to get stuck into being a kid again, not being sick all the time," she says.

Mrs Steenson and her other daughter, Kloe, have had their hair trimmed to a number one cut so they can grow their hair back at the same time as Alicia.

Mrs Steenson said Kloe had shaved her head for her sister twice.

Alicia's diagnosis was not the only challenge the Steensons have faced this year.

They went to the Tenancy Tribunal in May after their former rental home in Ohauiti tested positive for high levels of methamphetamine.

Containers of paint thinners were found under the house close to where Alicia played, leading the Steensons to believe the chemicals had made the little girl sick.

Their dispute with the property owner over the matter did not turn out the way they had hoped but Mrs Steenson said, despite that, the family was in a good place now.

"It comes to a point where you say do I waste my energy on this or do I focus on something else, like Alicia conquering cancer? I've walked away from it now," she said.

She was looking forward to Alicia starting school next year and becoming a part of the community.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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