Harvey resident Emily Houston, 7, set to shine this weekend as a 2023 Little Telethon Star

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Little Telethon Star Emily Houston, 7, mother Andrea Houston and sister Jessica Houston, 8.
Camera IconLittle Telethon Star Emily Houston, 7, mother Andrea Houston and sister Jessica Houston, 8. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

In many ways, seven year-old Emily Houston is just like any other young kid.

Her bountiful energy fills the Harvey Recreation and Cultural Centre as she plays with her older sister Jessica before their dance lessons.

At one point Emily does the splits unprompted, making everyone else look inflexible by comparison.

Her forest green Telethon shirt is the only indication of her special role at RAC Arena this weekend.

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When Harvey residents flick their televisions to Channel 7 on Saturday night, they will see a familiar face on their screens.

Emily has been selected as one of this year’s four Little Telethon Stars, alongside Bunbury’s Connor Barrett, Gosnells’ Harrison Carthew and Attadale’s Sophia Marshall.

The stars will be the public faces of the 26-hour fundraiser, which raised a record of $71.4 million last year.

Emily is determined to stay up for most of it, though her parents have other plans.

“I think I will sleep for two hours,” she said.

Emily has already had quite the Telethon experience. She has starred in a Coles commerical, been a Qantas cabin crew member and enjoyed a staycation at Crown Perth which saw her meet Nic Naitanui and be served milkshakes by Premier Roger Cook.

The Year 2 student at Harvey Primary School has had quite the journey to becoming a Little Telethon Star.

After her father noticed she was getting paler, Emily was taken on a visit to her GP.

“We went to the doctor and he thought she was low on iron,” her mother Andrea Houston said.

Tests discovered Emily had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which is characterised by an overproduction of immature white blood cells.

Her family relocated from Harvey to Perth as she became a regular visitor to Perth Children’s Hospital.

Ms Houston took two years of leave from her job during Emily’s treatment.

“You wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy but you see how many beautiful people there are in the world,” she said.

The Harvey community got behind Emily during her treatment, which has continued with fundraising for Telethon in recent days.

On Uduc Road, Harvey Fish and Chips offered a special Super Hero Emily Meal on Sunday, with $1 from each purchase going towards Telethon.

Next door, Team Classique for Hair and Body has offered a year of free hair cuts for the winner of a raffle raising funds for the cause.

Harvey Primary School got involved on Monday, holding a gold coin donation free dress day.

While Emily has finished her last round of treatment, she is continuing tests and antibiotics to ensure she does not relapse.

Asked what message she had ahead of this weekend, her answer is simple: “Donate to Telethon”.

Visit telethon7.com.

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