Community Spirit

LOOKING FORWARD: Kayla Clapham of Woodburn with her son Drew, 5 has an aggressive form of leukaemia which she is fighting thanks to the support of her family and the Woodburn community. Photo Samantha Elley / Rivertown Times
LOOKING FORWARD: Kayla Clapham of Woodburn with her son Drew, 5 has an aggressive form of leukaemia which she is fighting thanks to the support of her family and the Woodburn community. Photo Samantha Elley / Rivertown Times Samantha Elley

WEARING a stylish hot pink bandana and helping her five-year-old son Drew drink his hot chocolate, single mum Kayla Clapham, of Woodburn, shows she is a fighter.

Diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer known as acute myeloid leukaemia, Kayla has been through a couple of rounds of chemotherapy already and is preparing to go to Royal Brisbane Hospital for the next few months to continue her battle.

"I could be back at work in six months time," she said.

Kayla was diagnosed with leukaemia at the beginning of the year.

When she got the call to confirm her cancer, she was at the funeral of a good friend.

"I had to leave the funeral and went straight up to the Gold Coast that day," she said. "I thought I won't be up there for long and ended up staying a month. I missed Drew's first day of kindergarten but my parents were able to take him."

Because Kayla needs a bone marrow transplant, her siblings were tested to see if they could donate.

"Out of five siblings four were a match which is rare, like one in a 256 chance," she said.

"My older brother Brendon is my donor. My sister Melonie shaved her head for leukaemia last week and raised around $2000."

Kayla also has a daughter Keely, 8 and does her best to keep life normal for her children.

"The doctors say I have a good chance of beating cancer as I am young, healthy and have a good attitude."

The Woodburn community has decided to rally and help raise money for Kayla to take her children on a much-needed holiday.

Good friends Juanita Mohammed and Danielle Ritchie, in conjunction with the Mid-Richmond River Lions Club, are organising Kayla's Fun Day to be held on April 21 between 9am-3pm. Along with the market stalls, it will be held in the area next to the Woodburn Bowling Club.

There will be a jumping castle, tug-o-war competition, sack races, egg and spoon races, lucky dips, balloon art, face painting, sponge throwing and other fun events including live music with locals singer Bree Bullock and band The I in Me and a barbecue.

There will be prizes to be won, including a Gold Coast holiday, a wheelbarrow of prizes, a Clear Sea massage voucher and vouchers from Hungry Jacks and the Riverview Cafe at Woodburn. There will be a pub auction at the Rod n Reel later in the evening.

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