Devyn Tregurtha is having a big party today.

She's just turned 5 and on Monday she'll pack her new Moana lunchbox into her new Trolls schoolbag, put on her new blue and white pinafore uniform and make the short journey across the road to Cornwall Park District School.

It's a big milestone, but it's not the only one Devyn will be celebrating at her disco-themed party for around 40 friends and family today.

Her two years and three months-long treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, from the 80 rounds of chemotherapy to the frequent lumbar punctures and many other procedures that have earned her 641 courage beads, is over.


A year ago, mum Bianca Tregurtha couldn't even think about her younger daughter starting school.

It felt amazing to be celebrating something so normal.

"It's so good. I thought I was going to be just freaking out about her getting sick again, but as soon as she finished treatment I weirdly haven't thought about it and we've just carried on as normal."

School isn't Devyn's only big kid task this month though. She's also an Auckland regional ambassador for the Child Cancer Foundation's annual appeal.

Collectors will be out nationwide today to raise money for the 40-year-old foundation, which supports more than 1700 children with cancer, and their families.

Tregurtha said the organisation, which receives no direct government funding to help the more than three Kiwi kids diagnosed with cancer every week, stepped in to help her, husband Ryan and older daughter Luca from the first week of Devyn's diagnosis.

Sisters Luca, 8, and Devyn Tregurtha, 5, on holiday in Australia. Photo / Supplied
Sisters Luca, 8, and Devyn Tregurtha, 5, on holiday in Australia. Photo / Supplied

Their "whole world had just changed in a second" and the foundation, starting with their personal support person, was a lifeline.

Financial assistance was provided to cover transport, they were put in touch with other families in a similar situation and Devyn was given a custom-packed overnight bag for emergency trips to hospital, Tregurtha said.


"That came in very handy and very often."

Luca, who had just started school and was very confused by what was going on, was also supported with sibling activities and beads.

Simply being there made a big difference, Tregurtha said.

"Just knowing someone was there who we could talk to, if we needed, helped ... they were just amazing all through our treatment. They still are, in post-treatment."

Devyn will have regular check-ups for five years before she is declared cancer-free.

Tregurtha hoped people would support the appeal in whatever way they could.

Other ways to help include holding a fundraising event in your area or donating at

"Even the smallest donation can go a long way. It helps a lot of families."

As for Devyn, she's taking her ambassador role in her stride — just like the start of her formal education.

"She's really excited. She's had both of her school visits and they said 'you don't have to wear your uniform' but she wanted to. She wanted to be like all the other kids."