At 15 months of age, Zoe Garth was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a type of childhood cancer that affects blood pressure. Her mother, Lesley, had felt a lump near her stomach.
Zoe was rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital where she stayed for six months. Her parents, Lesley and David, travelled back and forth from Lakes Entrance to Melbourne while also expecting their second child.
Zoe survived chemotherapy and continued to travel to the RCH for three-month checkups. These slowly became annual appointments until she got the all clear at nine years of age.
Zoe is now 16 years old and lives a relatively normal life and attends Nagle College in Bairnsdale, where she is in year 11.
She has a younger brother and sister and works part time at Fish a Fare fish and chip shop.
Each year the family fundraises for the Good Friday Appeal, explaining they cannot thank the team and physicians enough for the care Zoe received.
Zoe’s grandfather, John Upton, is the coordinator who liaises with the hospital and Lesley does all the paperwork.
“It is proving difficult this year with the isolation regulations in place,” Lesley said.
“We usually do a tin rattle around town, but of course that won’t be happening, so we are doing a virtual tin rattle.
“This will be a fundraiser online, I have just put the details up on Lakes Chatterbox (Facebook page), so people can still donate.”
There are still raffles going and you can purchase a ticket from Beatt’s Coffee just outside Woolworths, the Lakes Newsagency or Fish a Fare.
The Good Friday Appeal raises much needed funds for equipment, research and education to support the work of the Royal Children’s Hospital.
While fundraising efforts are already underway, the main appeal takes place this Friday, April 10.
IMAGE: Zoe Garth was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor at 15 months old. Her family raises funds for the Good Friday Appeal each year, which takes place this Friday. (PS)