Brave little Jessica honoured by Our Kids

BRAVERY AWARD: Christine Gibson with her daughter Jessica Gray, who will be honoured at Our Kids Day Out.
BRAVERY AWARD: Christine Gibson with her daughter Jessica Gray, who will be honoured at Our Kids Day Out. Nolan Verheij-Full

YOU wouldn't know, watching six-year-old Jessica Gray laugh and play with her school friends, that she's not a healthy little girl.

But in fact, Jessica was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in October 2013, and has spent a good deal of her time since then in the Lismore Base Children's Ward, after initial treatment in Brisbane.

What overshines the trauma she's endured has been her bubbly personality, and her overall bravery.

That's why, at tomorrow's Our Kids Day Out, Jessica will be honoured with the Children's Ward Bravery Award from Our Kids, nominated by the nurses from the LBH Children's Ward.

Mum Christine Gibson said her daughter had been so strong since her diagnosis, almost a shining light for everyone else.

"She's so brave, she just takes it all in her stride," Ms Gibson said.

To Jessica, brave means "doing something but not getting upset about it."

Many times, in hospital, she has to do things that scare her, but she tries not to let it get to her, she said, like Anna in Frozen.

She said the nurses at the hospital, who had nominated her for the award, knew her quite well, because "I came in a bit," she said with a laugh.

She was pretty shocked and happy to hear she'd gotten the award, she said, and wanted to say a big "thank you" to the nurses and staff at the Children's Ward.

Jessica said she couldn't wait to enjoy the sausage sizzle and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show.

While Jessica is still undergoing treatment, she's doing really well, Ms Gibson said.

This year she's had only one overnight stay in hospital, which is positive, Ms Gibson said.

"I'd really like to thank the staff at the Children's Ward and the staff here at Tregeagle School. They're just so supportive and caring with Jessica," Ms Gibson said.

"It's like she's got all these mums, these lovely ladies who look out for her and care for her."

A big thank you also had to go to Dr Chris Ingall from LBH and Dr Margaret Little from the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane.

Our Kids Fundraising Coordinator, Rebekka Battista, said Jessica truly deserved to be Centre stage at the Our Kids Day Out celebration.

"This day will be a great time for families to enjoy free entertainment and meet the Emergency Services, so bring the family, a picnic blanket and enjoy the day of free entertainment," Ms Battista said.

The 10th Our Kids Day Out will be held on Sunday from 9am-2pm at Missingham Bridge Amphitheatre in Ballina.



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