By NATALIE PEUTnataliep@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
AT JUST five, Joshua Finn was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and missed out on a normal childhood.
But eight years on, Joshua, now 13, is living life to the fullest and looks forward to catching up with other children who have suffered cancer and are now in remission like him. But times were tough for his family when Joshua was diagnosed.
It was only eight years ago Dimmity Ward was taking each breath as it came, when her son Joshua Finn, now 13, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Dimmity said the traumatic time found her family travelling three hours every month for his cancer treatment.
'Joshua had two tumours in his neck, which were three centimetres by four centimetres long,' she said.
'We were lucky he had the cancer that had the best-known results for its treatment.
'It was a horrible time for the family, just wondering whether he was going to make it through or not.'
Although Joshua was only five years old he can remember the Ronald McDonald House.
Joshua said he could remember all the families that had kids with cancer being in the house.
Dimmity said they used to tell him quirky little tales to keep him positive to get through the treatment.
'I remember telling him that his special toothpaste had little men in it that would go down his throat and help him get a lot better,'' she said.
'I certainly put my foot in it, when we were at the shops and Joshua spotted the toothpaste.'
Dimmity said it was at a difficult stage of his life.
'He missed a lot of interaction at pre-school, because he was in and out of treatment and was on around 14 tablets a day,'' she said.
'With his condition, there were little things like a prickle that could make him extremely sick.'
Dimmity said it was important for her and her family to stay positive.
'Camp Quality is a fantastic organisation that gives kids with cancer the opportunity to be in a group with a lot of positivity,' she said.
'Joshua is now in remission, so he gives the other kids at Camp Quality a bit of light that this could be them one day.'
Joshua said he and his sister Tori attended the camp, which was at a different location each year.
'It's a great outlet for all the kids with cancer or in remission from cancer and their siblings to attend a positive and fun camp,' he said.
'We get together and do a lot of fun activities day and night.
'One year they took us all out, and we had to find locks, they had a big ring of keys and if the right one fitted we won these prizes out of a chest.'
Joshua said some of the kids were not always positive.
'It gives them the support network they need and the chance to talk to other kids who are dealing with the same thing,' he said.
'After a few years, it becomes a little like a reunion for us all, because we make friends from all over the place.'