The Skye is the limit


When Hunter Learning Program Education Coordinator, Rachel Hazel saw 17 year old Skye Jenkins up at Newcastle House earlier this year, she recognised her straight way.

“I tutored Skye as part of the Learning Program just after she had her operation, and I was always so impressed with her amazing attitude and resilience,” said Rachel.

Skye was diagnosed with Congenital Retro-orbital Lymphangioma when she was 6 months old. However, Skye had to wait another 8 years before surgeons were willing to operate on the ever-growing tumour behind her eye, meaning she endured headaches, malformation and many missed schooldays.

Due to the commitment of Skye’s school, support staff, and her opportunity to join the Learning Program, Skye was able to keep up with her studies during this very difficult time. She is now thriving as a young adult, and is about to complete the Higher School Certificate.

“I still do the same exams as all of my friends,” said Skye, “but I do get extra time and breaks because of my vision – I get tired very easily.”

Skye is committed to helping others, and was happy to be back at the House baking treats for families as part of her schools ‘Caring Cooks’ community program.

“A group of us come up each week to help out,” said Skye. “Today we cooked lasagne, chocolate crackles and cupcakes. I like helping with the washing up.”

Skye attributes her amazing attitude and lust for life to her family.

 “I’ve got a big family, which is really fun. My Dee was 99.5 when she died. She was so happy when she saw me after my operation, and then she died about 6 months later,” said Skye.

According to Families, Systems and Health (2013) families are able to cope better and focus on the needs of the sick child when they have support from family members and other families.

A supportive family environment, as well as a positive school experiencemeans Skye is in the best position possible to thrive as she begins the next chapter in her journey. Good luck Skye!

“Never underestimate the impact one happy day at school can
mean to a child with serious illness”

Ronald Mcdonald Learning Program Parent