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Cancer ward brightened by students' project

Cancer ward brightened by students' project to honour friend

Prefects from Kristin School in Albany recently helped make cancer treatment at Auckland Hospital's Oncology Ward just a little easier to endure.

Inspired by their friend and mentor Anna Fuller, who lost her battle with cancer as an 18-year-old earlier this year, the school's 2005 Prefect Team recently provided the ward with a $17,000 package aimed at making treatment stays more bearable.

The package, which included artworks, CD players, a coffee machine, magazine subscriptions, comfortable furniture, leisure activities and other amenities, was the result of a campaign launched by the prefects a year ago when Anna's cancer was diagnosed.

Kristin School's 2005 Head Boy and Girl Blake Hansen and Louise Walker say though Anna spoke highly of the nursing staff in the ward, she was depressed by the hospital's surroundings during her chemotherapy.

"Before we lost Anna, the prefects visited the ward to see it for themselves and, with Anna's encouragement, we decided to embark on a project that would make the ward a brighter place for patients undergoing their treatment," say Blake and Louise.

To raise funds, the prefects worked for local businesses and families after school and on weekends in return for donations including money and a wide range of goods needed for the project. Their work included labouring, data entry, baby-sitting and mathematics coaching.

The prefects are also creating and publishing a book for patients to read and take home with them. It contains art, poetry and stories with positive themes by Kristin students ranging from kindergarten and primary school through to year 13. In a message to its intended recipients, it states: "Our hope is that the positive messages contained in these pieces make your time of treatment in this ward a little more bearable."

Peter Clague, Principal Kristin School, says: "The efficiency, organisation and enthusiasm of the prefects as they developed their project were reminiscent of Anna herself - she would no doubt be as proud of them as we are."

For further information or interviews, please phone Peter Clague on 415 9566 ext 308 or email pclague@kristin.school.nz.

ENDS

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