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Masterchef

"I wished I was normal": Junior MasterChef's Vienna on why she doesn't want to be the girl who has cancer

The 13-year-old has come a long way.

By Helen Vnuk
For 13-year-old Vienna, competing on Junior MasterChef isn't just about showing her skills in the kitchen. It's about changing the way people see her.
"I want to redefine myself as a really great cook instead of 'the girl who has cancer'," she tells TV WEEK.
Vienna was diagnosed with lymphoma when she was in Year Six.
"When I was going back to primary school on and off, some of the boys were whispering about me wearing a wig," she remembers.
"Luckily, I had a really strong group of friends who would stick up for me.
"I was wishing I wasn't sick, that everyone would forget about it, that I'd just be normal."
When Vienna found out that her younger brother Luca was a 12 out of 12 match for her as a bone marrow donor, she was "really upset" at first.
Vienna is testing her culinary skills on Junior Masterchef. (Channel TeN
"I didn't want my seven-year-old brother to go through heaps of blood tests and then surgery," she explains.
"But he just was so willing to do it, because he thought he could save me.
"That really filled me with a lot of hope, because I thought, 'Hey, I'm going to get over this, and my brother's going to be the reason.'" Vienna, who's from Victoria, says overcoming lymphoma has changed her – in a good way.
"It's taught me a lot of perseverance and courage," she says. "And that's probably really going to help in Junior MasterChef."
"It's taught me a lot of perseverance and courage," she tells TV WEEK (Supplied)
She knows what she'd do with the $25,000 prize money if she won.
"I'd probably put most of it away for when I open my dessert bar when I get older, but I'd donate a bit of it to one of my favourite cancer charities called Challenge, who helped me a lot when I was sick."

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