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Felicity was away on camp when her parents found out. They wanted her to have a good time and enjoy camp, so they waited until Felicity got home before telling her the news that Rupert, her younger brother was in hospital. Rupert's immune system was low and he had cancer.
Unfortunately while Felicity was at camp she had caught a cold. This meant she wasn’t allowed to go into the hospital and see Rupert. Felicity's cold lasted about a month and during this time she made him cards.
When Felicity first saw Rupert in Starship, he didn’t look good. He was pale and tired and didn’t do anything.
‘My parents seemed really sad and it made me sad to see them upset, so I had to find a way to make myself happy. The way I did this was by doing everything for everyone and always trying to make everyone else happy.
I helped make dinners, I drew posters for Rupert and my other two brothers and I would make him comics to cheer him up.
To make myself happy, I would make others happy.
At first I didn’t know much about cancer. I thought that if you got cancer you died.
So when I first heard the news, I felt destroyed inside. Once the doctor explained things to me, everything seemed better. Everything was going to be ok and Rupert would survive. This was my chance to make others have hope too.
Mum was in hospital with Rupert all the time, so Dad worked shorter hours to drop us off and pick us up from school and he would be home with us.
Mum had just gone back to working full time since having us when Rupert was diagnosed, so she had to give that up.
My siblings reacted differently. One of my brothers found it really hard to be around people who were sad, whilst my younger brother was too young to really understand. I tried to keep him out of the loop a bit and to protect him.
When you go through a deadly situation you grow stronger with the people around you. I became more conscious of the world around me and I learnt the value of love and life.
The hardest thing is staying positive, so that is what I focus on the most.
We had just moved to a new area and a new school when Rupert was diagnosed. I didn’t have many friends and with everything going on I just focused on school work.
Then when I started high school I made a great group of friends.
It’s much nicer having friends as friends make everything better, although there are times when they don’t really understand what it’s like and they say things that don’t help at all.
I joined CanTeen when I was 13 and a half. I was invited to a bowling event.
When I was invited, I kept telling myself I didn’t deserve to go, I haven’t gone through that much. But when I got there and met everyone they were all so nice and welcoming, I never wanted to leave.
CanTeen’s like a big family, I can be myself and people understand. There’s another CanTeener in my class at school and she asks me all the time how things are going.
I talk to her about her treatment and we get each other.
CanTeen knows how to turn any day into an amazing day.
Today Rupert is still in and out of hospital when he gets sick. To me, his happiness is essential.
I bake with him at home and we play Xbox but I bargain with him – one game of Xbox if he first plays an education game with me. I want to help him learn as he’s got a lot to catch up to do.
Be your hero for me means that you can’t wait for someone else to make you happy or to fix things. You can do it for yourself and it’s your own choice to be happy.
People will be there to help you but at the end of the day it’s up to you to make the choice and set yourself on the path you want to go on.
I’m always the happiest person in the room. I try not to have sadness but sometimes there’s a little bit there.
In the future I want to be a YouTuber. I’m going to start when I’m 15.
First I’ll start babysitting when I turn 14 to save up for a camera and then when I’m 15 I’ll start my YouTube channel.
I want to make people happy. I’ve always known I was meant to be a crazy person who just makes people happy.'
Felicity - Auckland