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Little girl's wish is granted

LOVING LIFE: Katelyn at Taroonga Zoo.
LOVING LIFE: Katelyn at Taroonga Zoo. Wendy Marks

FIVE years ago Katelyn Marks was diagnosed with leukaemia and to commemorate her now clean bill of health, Katelyn headed off on a holiday this week thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation.

At just five years old, Katelyn was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in September of 2012.

She was in Prep at the time at Biloela State School.

After spending 244 days in Brisbane for treatment and chemotherapy, Katelyn was given the all clear in 2014.

Last week, a number of teachers presented Katelyn with a Make a Wish package at the school assembly.

Katelyn stood before the crowd and gave a speech on her cancer journey and thanked all her friends, family and teachers on supporting her.

FEELING BETTER: Katelyn with teachers Kate Mauger and Marnie Tomlin.
FEELING BETTER: Katelyn with teachers Kate Mauger and Marnie Tomlin. Vanessa Jarrett

Rallying behind Katelyn and her family, the school fundraised for an iPad for Katelyn so she could do her school work while she was in hospital.

Katelyn was very proud to tell all her classmates and teachers she still had the iPad.

"The school was just amazing,” Mother Wendy Marks said.

"They sent letters and pictures all the time and they fundraised the money for the iPad.”

This week Katelyn had her 'wish' granted through the Make a Wish Foundation.

Katelyn chose to go on a five day trip to Sydney with her parents and three siblings where they will spend a night at Taroonga Zoo, go indoor skydiving and visit Luna Park with some other little attractions along the way.

Katelyn in Sydney in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Katelyn in Sydney in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Wendy Marks

"I think it feels like it is the end, she has finally reached the end of her cancer journey,” Wendy said.

Wendy along with Dad, Russell Hall, said they were so grateful to be able to have the opportunity to take the family on a holiday.

"It's amazing, it is something we could have never done,” Wendy said.

"Not as extravagant as this, nothing like this.”

With the sky the limit, Wendy said Katelyn took her time choosing her wish.

"We took our time, we wanted her to be healthy and happy,” she said.

"She watched other kid's wishes and she has always wanted to go the zoo, and well she is a daredevil so the skydiving.”

Katelyn said she she is looking forward to the skydiving the most.

"I reckon the whole trip will be memorable,” she said.

Katelyn with her mum Wendy.
Katelyn with her mum Wendy. Vanessa Jarrett

Katelyn remembers some of her time while she was sick.

"I mostly remember when I was in hospital, I only got to go outside a little bit,” she said.

"And I remember I was really tired and I never wanted to play with my siblings when they came to visit.”

These days, nothing can stop Katelyn.

"She is amazing, she is back to normal so we try not to take anything for granted,” Wendy said.

"She is back to playing sports and doing everything,” Russell said.

Topics:  childhood cancer leukaemia make a wish


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