Little Piper’s passing felt by thousands

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Piper Collard
Camera IconPiper Collard

Piper Collard took her last breath last week on the same night the Katanning community came together to support the beloved little girl and her family.

Inspirational Bali bombings survivor Phil Britten spoke at a fundraiser at Katanning Leisure Centre on Thursday night organised by St Patrick’s School.

Those who attended the fundraiser woke to the tragic news Piper had died overnight.

Just weeks before her first birthday, she was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma.

For the past 11 months, she had undergone rounds of chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy and an operation to remove parts of her tumours. She lost her brave battle on Thursday.

Her parents, Meagan and Laurence, broke the news the next day to the thousands of people who had been following their journey on social media.

“Our sweet little darling girl took her last breath last night ... safely in mummy and daddy’s arms,” they said. “Baby girl, you gave it your all my darling and you’ll never know just how much we love you. Not quite sure how I’m ever going to sleep without you in my arms.”

Laurence, Piper and Meagan.
Camera IconLaurence, Piper and Meagan.

Piper’s aunty, Albany woman Bianca Wolfe, created a GoFundMe account earlier this month to support the family and allow them to spend time with their daughter while they looked for alternative treatments. More than $100,000 was raised in 15 days.

Thursday’s event in Katanning raised more than $4000 for the family to support them as they prepared for their next challenges.

St Patrick’s principal Andrew Gammon said the Collards and the Wolfes were cherished members of the St Patrick’s family.

“In light of how devastating the news was of Piper’s passing, I am proud of the school being happy to stand up and support the family. The family, the Wolfes and the Collards, touched the hearts of the whole community. It’s a loss that is felt by everyone,” he said.

PIper Collard and her brother.
Camera IconPIper Collard and her brother.

Ms Wolfe’s GoFundMe account gained added exposure last week when it featured in viral social media posts comparing it with Israel Folau’s crusade to fund a legal battle. Many recent comments from donors have mentioned Folau’s fundraising drive.

Other donors simply offered their condolences.

“So, so sorry for the loss of your darling princess. I pray that you somehow find comfort in your memories of her and that these donations bring some relief from financial burdens,” one donor wrote.

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