Collecting for a close cause

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In remission . . . Cancer survivor Hannah Jones (11) and her mum Lea Jones were out collecting for Ronald McDonald House the day after Hannah finished her treatment. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

For most people, collecting for charity the day after they finish six months of cancer treatment would not be top of their list, but 11-year-old Hannah Jones is not most people.

The Fairfield School pupil, who was diagnosed with primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma before Christmas, went through six rounds of chemotherapy to get rid of the tumour, which she nicknamed “Donald J. Lump”.

The cancer usually affects women in their 20s and 30s, and was rare even among that group.

Hannah’s treatment came to an end a week ago, ringing the bell to celebrate the end of her time at Christchurch Hospital’s Children’s Haematology Oncology Centre, and she headed home to Dunedin to be with her friends and her parents.

The Green Island community has supported the Jones family, holding a fundraising barbecue in January, raising $1325 for Hannah’s treatment.

Her mother Lea Jones, a former Otago Daily Times reporter and sub-editor, joined Hannah outside Countdown on Cumberland St on May 12, where the pair collected for Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald House supports and houses families of ill children and has supported the Jones family through the numerous visits to Christchurch.

Hannah said she was feeling “much better” and doing half days at school.

She was now in remission but would have weekly visits to Dunedin Hospital for the foreseeable future, Mrs Jones said.

Everything had been a blur for the past six months and only now, when it was settling down, would the family be able to process everything that had gone on.

“[It is] starting to sink in a little bit.”

To support Ronald McDonald House, visit the website www.rmhsi.org.nz.