by Sophie from New Zealand
“How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank
In early 2007, a 15-year-old girl fell into a coma and was admitted into Wellington Children’s Hospital. The girl, whose name is Ailsa Lipscombe, ended up staying in that hospital for over three months.
Ailsa met many people during her stay, most of whom left soon after they arrived, therefore she never really got to know anyone, and never saw any of them again. But there was a small group of children that showed up at her ward regularly, and it was these kids and their families that Ailsa got to know. She was devastated when she learned that all of these children had been diagnosed with cancer. Up until this point in her life, Ailsa had never been associated with someone who had a life-threatening illness. It was a huge shock and broke her heart to know that, unlike her, some of these children would never recover.
For the duration of her stay in the hospital, Ailsa tried her best to bring fun and happiness into the lives of these children. She brought bubbles into the ward for the children to play with, and even endured watching the Spice Girls movie seventeen times! Not only did she help to pass the time for these children, but they all helped her through a difficult time in the hospital, as she was constantly in a lot of pain.
It amazes me that through all the trouble of dealing with her illness, she still had plenty of room in her heart to help other people. After being released from the hospital, Ailsa continued to help children suffering from cancer. In 2007 and 2008 she participated in the ‘Funrazor’ event for the Child Cancer Foundation, where you get sponsored to shave off your hair. Last year she raised over $1,000!
I was lucky enough to meet Ailsa in 2007 while she was still in the hospital. As soon as I met her, I knew what a selfless, generous and positive person she was. Ever since then she has been my hero, as she is always trying her hardest to make the journey of others easier, even though her journey is rough. She taught me to appreciate life while we still have a good hold on it, because just like that it can be turned upside down. She is always wanting to do more to assist others, and never thinks twice about giving someone a helping hand. I believe that Ailsa truly is an angel in disguise.
Child Cancer Foundation
- provides services to children with cancer and their families.
- "Shave your lid for a Brave Kid!"