'Fro bros show their colours for good cause

By Roger Moroney

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Cancer survivor and mum of three Kelly Davis (in pink wig) with Eskdale School principal Tristan Cheer join  Louis Davis (left), 9, Felix Davis, 7, and Rocco Davis,  for a little wig-wearing practice a week out from the big Wig Wednesday national fundraiser for the Child Cancer Foundation to be staged on June 22. Photo / Duncan Brown
Cancer survivor and mum of three Kelly Davis (in pink wig) with Eskdale School principal Tristan Cheer join Louis Davis (left), 9, Felix Davis, 7, and Rocco Davis, for a little wig-wearing practice a week out from the big Wig Wednesday national fundraiser for the Child Cancer Foundation to be staged on June 22. Photo / Duncan Brown

Every week, somewhere in New Zealand, three children are diagnosed with cancer - and for them and their families that means a daunting and uncertain time ahead.

Just over four years ago that dark news was delivered to the Davis family of Napier, and their own personal daunting and uncertain journey began.

Little Felix, just three-and-a-half, had been diagnosed with a rare cancer called neuroblastoma and at one stage, his mum Kelly said, there was a figure of just 40 per cent being put their way in terms of potential survival.

For the next 15 months of his young life there was little time for play and the usual fun and frolic - there were visits to Starship Hospital and intensive treatment, and there were also reassuring words for his two brothers, his twin Rocco and Louis, who were also too little to understand what was happening.

Not wanting to unsettle them, Mrs Davis simply said Felix had "a bug" and they were getting medicine for him to make him better. Only recently did she sit down and explain how close their sibling had come to losing his young life.

Felix went through radiotherapy, chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and immunotherapy and after 15 months the light came on at the end of a long, dark tunnel - he entered remission and today he is like any chirpy, contented seven-year-old.

So like the rest of their schoolmates at Eskdale School, he and his brothers were more than happy to say a big yes to wearing a grand and colourful wig for the inaugural Wig Wednesday event which has been sparked as a fundraiser by the Child Cancer Foundation and will take place on June 22.

Child Cancer Foundation Hawke's Bay business development manager Vicky Rope said Eskdale School was one of about 25 schools, kindergartens and businesses taking part in next Wednesday's great wig day.

She said as a standalone charity the Child Cancer Foundation received no direct government funding so relied on the fundraising generosity of the community to support it.

"It was very tough but we were lucky, we got through," Mrs Davis said, adding that the support the family received from the foundation, and from the medical teams at Starship, was "outstanding".

Felix also got back to something else he enjoyed doing - running around.

After moving to Eskdale where the boys enrolled at the local school, and in his first year there, just a year out of cancer's danger zone, there was a cross-country running event.

His mum was delighted to see one of Felix's brothers leading the run and wondered where he might be.

"Then I spotted him ... he was coming second."

Felix said he liked running and liked "everything" about school.

If their fundraising efforts for the foundation over the next week (which will include biscuit sales and sausage sizzles as well) reach $500 the two teachers will get their heads shaved.

And if they hit the $1000 mark Mr Cheer will follow suit.

- On Wednesday, June 22 hundreds of schools and businesses across the country will be donning wigs and fundraising to support the Child Cancer Foundation as part of New Zealand's first Wig Wednesday. Money raised will help provide practical, financial and emotional support to Kiwi children with cancer and their families.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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