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Real Stories

Vienna’s story

Vienna used baking as a way to “escape” the stress of chemotherapy, after being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer at 11 years old. Now post-treatment and in her final year of high school, she no longer uses baking to help with chemo but instead to escape the stress of school.

The last time we shared Vienna’s story, she was a MasterChef Junior finalist after growing a love for baking while she underwent chemotherapy.

First diagnosed with a rare blood cancer at 11 years old, Vienna has undergone several rounds of cancer treatment and a bone marrow transplant.

Now 17, Vienna is in her final year of high school, studying for her Victorian Certificate of Education and adapting to the major change in her curriculum.

“It’s a lot more overwhelming than previous years, but I hope when exams roll around I’ll be ready to go though,” she says.

Her favourite subject is visual communication design where she gets to be her creative self.

“Life looks pretty good for me now. I’m very healthy and rarely at the hospital these days.”

As a previous Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship finalist, Vienna shared her love of baking as a way to “escape from cancer and stress”.

“I still bake and cook quite regularly. So now I’m in year 12, it’s an escape from school and stress.”

“I used the my scholarship to do some cooking courses, print a cook-book I had been working on and also buy some more cooking supplies and equipment.”

“My dream is still to pursue a creative career in the food and design world.”

She has perfected the birthday cake and is the resident cake baker in her family and friend group.

“Whatever people love, she decorates that in a birthday cake for them,” mum Fiona said.

A big sporting family, both Vienna and her younger brother have a huge love for sport.

For Vienna that’s netball, with training after school and games on Saturday. She’s just finished the tennis season and also helps coach Auskick.

Mum Fiona says it’s “been a big three years with both kids in high school now”.

“It has been nice to be at the hospital less and we’ve got a lot more normality than we would’ve had back then,” she says.

The family have been able to travel overseas for the first time since Vienna’s diagnosis and the Covid-19 lockdowns, travelling to Italy and Greece last year.

“When Vienna was unwell, that’s one of the things you really miss is the ability to travel and make plans.”

Looking ahead, Vienna is learning to drive and gearing up to finish high school.

She is encouraging a new cohort of Dare to Dream applicants to apply for the 2024 Scholarship.

Apply before 11:59pm Monday 10 June!

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Vienna holding a cake

News

6 Dec '21
2021 Dare to Dream Finalist: Future pastry chef, Vienna Savaris

“I still can’t believe she was there cooking for the MasterChef Judges when only 12 months earlier she was in hospital having chemo, radiation and a bone marrow transplant.”

2021 Dare to Dream Finalist: Future pastry chef, Vienna Savaris

“I still can’t believe she was there cooking for the MasterChef Judges when only 12 months earlier she was in hospital having chemo, radiation and a bone marrow transplant.”

News

28 Mar '24
Dare to Dream Scholarship 2024 – Applications open Monday 29 April!

Applications for the annual scholarship are opening for a limited time for teenagers aged 13-18 who have had cancer at any stage of their life.

Dare to Dream Scholarship 2024 – Applications open Monday 29 April!

Applications for the annual scholarship are opening for a limited time for teenagers aged 13-18 who have had cancer at any stage of their life.