Students help grow smile on Elki’s dial with backyard blitz
ELKI Guymer dreams of flying through the air on a swing squealing with delight for that spilt second her feet feel miles above the ground.
Yesterday her wish came true.
70 Students and staff from Sunshine Coast Grammar School Helping Hands program worked wonders to surprise Elki with a backyard blitz in her family's Nambour home for her to enjoy when she is in between hospital visits.
The three-year-old was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in January this year, when she was rushed to hospital by parents Lisa and Jevon on New Year's Eve when they were concerned with how pale she was.
Hours later the young family's lives were turned upside down, and she started chemotherapy within days.
Mum Lisa said Elki's diagnosis is curable but their little girl had a long road ahead, for at least the next two years, and hadn't been able to play in public parks with her sisters Keira, 11 and Ziani, 1, since.
"At the moment the chemo is making her feel very sick, so we're constantly getting her nausea medication because she wants to vomit," Lisa said.
"She cannot go out in public, and we cannot go to parks because of the germs."
Now, she has her own play area, with a swing set, painted cubby house, wooden kitchen, herb and flower beds in potted tea pots and a wishing well.
The students also washed the family's car, their pet dog, trimmed the hedges, put together a new table and chairs, paved, weeded and put in a deck around the cubby house.
"It's so exciting," Lisa said.
"This has been an absolute blessing. We had no idea it would be this much."
Jevon said they were blown away.
"At one point I looked out and there were about 24 kids painting our fence," he said.
Sunshine Coast Grammar Community Services co-ordinator Ben Princehorn said the Grammar Helping Hands program aimed to complete one major project each term, along with a number of smaller events and activities.
"It's pretty board what we do, we certainly help out charities and families, but we also have a meal bank where we produce about 1000 meals a year that we provide to the community," he said.
"Through our school we also have a charity of choice program, which sees each year level partner with an individual charity.
"Over the past seven years we have learnt that we live in an imperfect world and whilst we can't change events we can change the world for one person or one family.
"We can brighten a day, make a different and give the most important things we have - our love and our time."
There was certainly no shortage of love and time, at the Nambour family's home yesterday.
As students had their heads down and hands in the dirt, they were busy planting herbs, and putting up swings for little Elki who loves to play outside.
Mr Princehorn said they went "above and beyond the family's wish list"
"Our lives are busy places and it's very easy to push stories like Elki's to one side," Mr Princehorn said.
"We are encouraging our students to be a part, be it big or small, of the solution in making a difference for Elki."
To follow Elki's story, visit https://www.gofundme.com/elkisjournal