It is often in the darkest of times that the light of human compassion shines the brightest.
This was no more evident than in the past two years for Launceston’s Harmey family.
In 2015, then three-year-old Pippa Harmey was diagnosed with leukaemia. She spent Christmas Day that year in hospital, receiving her first blood transfusion.
On February 13, 2018, Pippa had her last IV chemotherapy treatment. It was a momentous day for the family, and for the supporters Pippa has gathered throughout her journey.
On Thursday, the Harmey family celebrated.
At a Launceston park, the family publicly celebrated Pippa’s strength and health, and thanked those who had been there throughout the past two and a half years.
It is often said that there are not enough “good news” stories told. The Harmey family’s story is one of those good stories.
And its goodness is two-fold. Modern medicine, combined with the courage of a young girl, has rid another person of leukaemia.
This is a triumph in itself. The second triumph is the response of the community in this family’s time of need.
Fundraisers flew thick and fast, when news of Pippa’s diagnosis became public.
Friends, colleagues, and strangers became involved in fundraising for the Harmey family to afford the comfort and treatment that Pippa deserved.
While still dealing with Pippa’s diagnosis and treatment, the family further helped the plight of children around Tasmania and Australia, by dedicating time and energy to cancer research projects for children.
The Examiner covered Pippa’s story, and the way the community rallied to support her. As a masthead, it is always humbling and heartwarming to see this kind of compassion in action.
The Harmey family has shared with us touching encounters with strangers on the street, who have recognised Pippa and her parents, David and Yvette, from stories in The Examiner.
These strangers have approached the family, extending their best wishes, and just generally asking about her condition, with pure hope in their hearts.
As Pippa begins the next stage of her journey into recovery, it is will the full hope of The Examiner and the greater Launceston community behind her.