Otis looking forward to morning tea
Bunbury’s Otis McHaffie cannot wait to jump into a swimming pool – a simple luxury many would take for granted.
The six-year-old has spent half his life undergoing gruelling treatment for the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Otis will finally be in remission in three months when his mother, Brea McHaffie, says he will be thrown back into the “world of normal”.
“It’s still quite a long road ahead but he doesn’t have to have any more chemos (chemotherapy) or any more medicines at home, which will be good for him,” Mrs McHaffie said.
Otis and his family will be among those supporting the cause at next week’s Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea at William Barrett & Sons.
The 26th annual morning tea on May 23 will transform the funeral home into a sea of delicious home-made treats, warm beverages and thrilling entertainment as much-needed money is again raised for Cancer Council of WA.
Mrs McHaffie said her family was first involved with the morning tea last year when Otis was “the face” of the campaign and they were blown away by its success.
Mrs McHaffie said the event meant “everything” to Otis and the family.
“He loved it (last year) ... it means everything, it’s getting the word out,” she said.
“How many people comment about the morning tea, the amount of people that come and how much fun it is, it’s just raising awareness.
“We’re happy to be involved in raising awareness for cancer and it’s a really great cause.”
She said it had been a long journey for Otis and his family and admits she had no clue what the disease was before her son was diagnosed.
“It still took me about a year after he was diagnosed to work out what it actually was ... I never thought I’d be thrown into the world of cancer mum, never,” she said.
“It’s more challenging for us, because he knows no different. It’s more challenging for us because we know what he’s missing out on – he doesn’t have a clue, he just accepts it.
“He doesn’t get to go to kids’ parties, he doesn’t get to go and do fun stuff that all the other kids at school get to do and he has to go to the classroom next door when they go on excursions and he misses out on heaps of stuff.
“But like I said, he doesn’t know any difference ... until August when he’ll be thrown back into the world of normal.”
Coordinator Alexis Woolhead said there was an “always growing crowd” for the event and it would not be possible without community support.
“We run it on the generosity of people donating gifts, food and the volunteers – it wouldn’t be anything if we didn’t have them because that’s what runs it,” she said.
The morning tea kicks off at 9am and goes until 1pm.
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