Quality experience ahead thanks to Lions

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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

Frans Duplessis’ love of cars is about move into top gear.

The young cancer patient had been looking forward to a trip to Highlands Motorsport Park with Camp Quality earlier this year, but became too unwell to attend, prompting a trip to hospital instead.

Frans (11) was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia three years ago and has since endured countless hospital visits and rounds of chemotherapy.

He had his last dose of chemotherapy last week.

Learning that he had missed out on the latest Camp Quality adventure prompted members of the Lions Club of Clyde and Districts to present Frans, his sister Nia (13) and parents Nadia and Dee Duplessis with a family pass to Highlands instead.

Lions club president Anne Dougherty said the group’s aim was to find a local family to support during Child Cancer Month, last February.

“Through a series of inquiries, we found out about Frans and the Duplessis family who live near Omakau,” she said.

Frans and Dee attended the Lions club’s February meeting to share their story with members.

“During that evening we found out that Frans had not attended Camp Quality because he was in hospital at the time fighting an infection.”

Camp Quality, a volunteer charitable trust, brings fun, hope and happiness into the lives of children living with cancer.

The first day of the camp was spent at Highlands, an aspect Frans was “extremely disappointed” to have missed out on.

With that in mind, Lions club members approached the park’s manager, Josie Spillane, to arrange a day pass for the family.

Frans cannot wait to use it.

A ride in a Ferrari is what he has his sights set on the most.

Mrs Duplessis said the support the family had received was amazing.

“We can’t say thank you enough. We appreciate it so much,” she said.

“We didn’t expect it at all.”

pending Highlands adventure, Frans, last week, completed his chemotherapy treatment, something he has endured for the past three and a-half years.

The next six months will be spent in a recovery phase, before being reimmunised.

“He’s a trooper,” Mrs Duplessis said, describing his resilience throughout his entire journey.