Digging deep for beloved teacher

Sesilia and John Palu with their children. Photo: Supplied

By Alesha Capone

The community has rallied behind a much-loved teacher who has been diagnosed with two types of cancer.

Sesilia Palu, a Grade 6 teacher at Truganina P-9 College, was diagnosed with bladder and breast cancer earlier this year.

Her husband John Palu said that his wife started chemotherapy last week.

Mr Palu said that since May, he has been “on and off work” caring for Sesilia and their two children.

“It’s had huge impact on us,” he said.

“It wasn’t something we were expecting and it definitely came out of the blue.”

An online fundraising campaign to help support their family, which was started in August by Mr Palu’s brother David, has so far raised more than $15,000.

Mr Palu said that he and Sesilia were grateful to everyone who had donated to the campaign.

He described his wife as someone who was always trying to help other people.

Sesilia Palu in hospital. Photo: Supplied

“It’s just the way she is, she’s always looking after everyone else and not herself,” he said.

Mr Palu said that Sesilia, 42, had already undergone two major surgeries and a mastectomy.

He said that after this, she was declared clear of cancer, but that doctors could not be 100 per cent sure, as some cancers could remain undetectable within the body.

He said that Sesilia’s oncologist had recommended her best option was to undergo a course of aggressive chemotherapy, in the hopes that her body would be totally cleared of cancer.

Mr Palu said that his wife’s students and colleagues at Truganina P-9 College “miss her heaps”.

He said they were hoping that Sesilia would be able to visit the school soon.

Mr Palu and his wife also run the Polynesian Kids Community Language School at the Wyndham Park Community Centre in Werribee on weekends, where they teach Samoan and Tongan.

See au.gofundme.com/f/sesilia-palu-and-john-palu to make a donation to the fundraising campaign in support of the Palu family.