'We'll always be there': School's vow as cancer hits class

WHAT are the odds? Three kids, same small class in a small Christian school diagnosed with very different types of cancer.

Coolum Beach Christian College is rallying together to support its Year 10 cohort as the students struggle to understand why.

None of the cases are linked, it is simply a set of unusual circumstances.

The class was rocked by its first cancer diagnoses in 2011 when then 11-year-old Peter Senekal was diagnosed with liver cancer.

Coolum Police Officer Pierre Senekal and his son Peter who survived liver cancer in 2011. ly
Coolum Police Officer Pierre Senekal and his son Peter who survived liver cancer in 2011. ly Warren Lynam

Peter has recovered and his dad, Pierre Senekal said was doing well.

Then in October last year, Isaac Holcroft, was diagnosed with a different type of Hodgkins Lymphoma and is receiving treatment at the moment.

And then, less than three weeks, just after the school swimming carnival, Oscar Lukritz, was diagnosed with leukaemia.

All three children are in the same class, which is the only Year 10 class at the school.

Isaac's mum Rebecca Holcroft said what gave her son hope after he was diagnosed was knowing Peter had been through a similar journey and had survived.

These are all our children, we walk the journey with them, we will always be there.

Mrs Holcroft was also hopeful Isaac and Oscar would be able to support each other in months ahead.

She urged other parents to be aware of the symptoms of cancer as "it seems so many children are being diagnosed".

"If you notice your child has lost weight, changes in their mood and they are no longer interested in the same foods, get advice," she said.

Oscar's grandmother Jo Wilcox has started a Gofundme page as the enormity of the situation and the struggle to pay bills while staying in Brisbane for Oscar's treatments set in.

Mrs Wilcox explained the 14-year-old active teen was diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) on Saturday, February 4 and was in the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane.

"His mum, Kylie, has been staying with him 24/7 sleeping on a bed in his room," she wrote.

"His two siblings Hannah, 17, and Archie, 10, are at home on the Sunshine Coast. Archie is staying with me 24/7 and going to school and staying in his normal routine as much as possible"

Isaac Holcroft.
Isaac Holcroft. Instagram

In the meantime Oscar has "endured platelet and red blood cell transfusions, chemo, lumbar punctures and has had bone marrow retrieval amongst other things".

Kylie has had to stop work so she can be by Oscar's bedside as he undergoes gruelling treatment to save his life.

On Thursday, February 16 Oscar was discharged from hospital and is staying in accommodation with his mother near the hospital.

Mrs Wilcox said they would need accommodation in Brisbane for about a month while Oscar undergoes further treatment.

"He is being so brave," she wrote

"We had no idea that he had this disease. We were at a school swimming carnival on Thursday, February 2.

"Oscar did one swim and won, he is a good swimmer. He dived into the pool to do the second swim and couldn't make it 25 metres.

"He got himself out of the pool and came over to me and said he wasn't feeling well and he wanted to go home."

He was taken for blood tests on the Friday and then early on Saturday morning Kylie received the devastating phone call.

Oscar Lukritz before his cancer diagnosis.
Oscar Lukritz before his cancer diagnosis.

Oscar was admitted to Lady Cilento Saturday afternoon," Mrs Wilcox wrote

"As you can imagine it has put tremendous stress on the whole family and sent our daily routines into a total shambles.

"The emotional and physical stress is bad enough but there is also the financial burden that this type of situation puts on the whole family.

"There is all the extra fuel travelling to and from hospital costs, plus the burden of setting up the accommodation from scratch, with food and toiletries and then there is having to pay for toll booths and Oscar's medication.

"Any financial help that can be given quickly to help alleviate the financial burden for my family will be greatly appreciated."

Oscar Lukritz, left, with his family.
Oscar Lukritz, left, with his family. Gofundme

Coolum Beach Christian College Principal Terry Hornby said the school was working together to "walk the journey" with the families.

"These are all our children, we walk the journey with them, we will always be there," Mr Hornby said.

"We will not stop loving, caring and building every child in our school."

If you can help Oscar Lukritz and his family as they struggle to meet the demands of his treatment, visit the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/heal-for-the-brave.


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