How To Help Students With Medical Conditions: Telepresence Lets Fred Go The Distance

A highlight of this mission is receiving weekly updates on the achievements of students, parents, and educators nationwide. This week, I’d like to spotlight the success of one of our students who triumphed despite facing numerous challenges. Meet Fred.

Fred was close to completing Year 1 when, at age 7, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. At that time, he was an energetic kid who loved participating in any sport – be it AFL, basketball, surfing, you name it; Fred was always excited to give it a go. It was crucial that Fred could recover swiftly and return to his normal life.

Upon hearing of a specialist oncologist in Perth, Fred’s parents bravely decided to move across the country to sunny Western Australia. The surgery and radiotherapy results were promising, but recovery would take time, and Fred was anxious about his absence.

Fortunately, Fred’s mum Tiffany was already aware of MissingSchool! One of Fred’s classmates from his previous school in Sydney had used a telepresence robot during their treatment for cancer, and Tiffany was eager to have the same support for Fred.

Fred has always been a social kid as much as a sporty one. Hanging out with his mates is priority number one, followed closely by keeping up with his learning! The telepresence robot that Fred’s classmates affectionately named “Steve” proved invaluable in helping him stay in touch with his classmates, and provided him with the opportunity to establish a routine of attending classes through the robot. Tiffany had nothing but good things to say:


“The whole process was pretty seamless and it was easy to learn how to use it. Fred is a very social kid and having that link with the other kids was so important. He absolutely loved it. Fred really wasn’t in a fit state to learn properly for 18 months and, while there are gaps in his learning from missing so much school, the telepresence robot made a big difference.” 

~Fred’s mum



Recently, Fred’s story was featured in an ABC Online article and in-depth radio interview with his mum, Tiffany. This family’s journey shows why connection to school is absolutely lifechanging.

Fred’s delight in recalling the moment when the robot unintentionally rolled over the teacher’s toe, and everyone laughed about it, highlights the sense of community and belonging that would be impossible to experience without a reliable digital connection to the classroom.

We’re thrilled to have these incredible opportunities to provide kids with a platform to share their stories. It’s not only inspiring but also provides us with valuable guidance and insights that should be seen and heard.

This year, Fred is in Year 5 and as ferociously active as ever. He loves being back at school ‘in real life’, and sees Steve as having helped him get where he is today.

It takes a caring community to get our kids back into the classroom and we’re so thankful for your incredible support.

If, like us, you want to create more magic moments like these, please donate today.

There are many ways to help:

Every action moves us closer to the finish line: a world where every sick child is seen and heard.

Let’s keep connecting.

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