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Would you like to know what real courage looks like?

It looks like this – a 13-year-old girl who started secondary school with some trepidation, with hopes and dreams. Normal feelings when transitioning from year 6 to 7.

Delta Goodrem is an inspiration to young cancer suffers.

For a while it was all going according to plan, until the diagnosis in April 2016, that changed her life, shocked her family and created a solidarity among her peers.

Leukaemia changed how Miah has had to navigate her days. Suddenly the 8.30 to 3.30 school routine became trips to doctors and hospitals. The once energetic girl laboured to get to school because she was sapped of strength by bouts of chemotherapy, medication and the daily battle of putting one foot in front of the other.

Although her movements became limited, her spirit did not diminish and her smile rather than her struggle was still the first thing her teachers saw when she managed to get herself to school.

Her legs, although shaky, moved purposefully in the direction of her classroom, and at all times she was fiercely protected and supported by her homeroom teacher, her co-ordinator and class mates.

To witness this was to witness the Gospels in action. 

Her friends have been amazing and have rallied around her. They have written words of support, have helped her with tasks and even took it upon themselves to write to Delta Goodrem, who also had a battle with Hodgkins lymphoma as an 18-year-old.

The students in Miah's class were thrilled when they received an autographed photo from Delta who offered words of encouragement.

In August this year Miah appeared on the Footy Show to highlight and fundraise for the My Room Foundation, which is a children's cancer charity. There she was on television, sitting between her mum Leanne and Rebecca Maddern.

What was evident as we watched, was that although she had lost most of her hair, she maintained a dignity and poise often not found in one so young.

Something indicates that in the future Miah may well be an inspiration for other young people who might be afflicted with the same condition.

As this year comes to a close we are certain that we will continue to learn about courage from Miah and we will continue to marvel at the depth of the human spirit.

Watching Miah is a revelation, a gift and a lesson in how to live.

There is a saying, "when the student is ready the teacher appears". And she did.

By Gemma Di Bari

October 14, 2016

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