Lakenheath family spends time at famous London address as part of tea for charity that helped daughter make dream come true
June 25, 2008
RAF LAKENHEATH — Twelve-year-old Kara Siert has overcome some arduous times. She was abandoned in a cardboard box as a baby in China. Later, at age 10, she battled bone cancer and underwent 180 days of chemotherapy.
Earlier this month, the resilient RAF Lakenheath dependent and others met Prime Minister Gordon Brown on a tour of 10 Downing Street in London for the Dreams Come True charity. The tour marked the 20th anniversary of the charity, which has fulfilled the dreams of more than 3,500 seriously and terminally ill children and young adults.
In 2006, the charity carried out Kara’s dream by publishing her book, "Tales of Cunburra and Other Stories," a 252-page collection of fables. Amazon.com sells the book for $20.50.
Her adoptive parents, Maj. Ward and Linda Siert, tagged along for the tour, which included access to luxurious rooms behind the famous No. 10 black door.
"It was really cool to see the inside and all of the rooms," an elated Kara said last week.
The Sierts and 19 other families helped by the charity gathered for tea in the Pillared Room, a reception hall used for international-agreement signings. About 30 minutes later, Brown appeared and greeted the families.
"He went family by family, shook hands and talked to each child," Linda Siert said.
Kara handed Brown her book as he approached her.
"He asked me when I like to write." She told him, "I usually write when I have an idea."
And she has plenty of them. She already has typed 300 pages on her computer for her second book, also based on a fantasy world.
At the end of the tour, Kara received a 10 Downing Street photo book and another gift that’ll come in handy — a collectible pen.
"I started using it a little bit, but Dad was like, ‘Don’t use it!’ " she said, laughing.
Two years after chemotherapy, Kara says she is feeling better. Her dark hair has grown back and every three months she has X-ray scans to ensure cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of her body.
In 2005, most of the right-handed girl’s upper-right arm bone was removed and replaced with a titanium rod when doctors revealed a cancerous tumor on it. Although she may never have full use of her right arm, she avoided amputation, said Ward Siert, who works for the 48th Medical Operations Squadron.
The illness apparently hasn’t affected her writing career.
"She can still type and write," he said.