One of the things I love about this company (and it was like this 4 years ago when I first temped there) is that people really don't care how many work outfits you have or whether it is latest fashion or something you've had in your cupboard for a while. I'm so glad because I am pretty limited in work outfits and I don't do latest fashion (certainly there is no way we could afford to buy latest fashion outfits), so it makes one feel comfortable when other people just accept you for who you are.
It's great to work again with these people I first met around 4 years ago, it is great being able to catch up with my friend Irene who also works here and I must say I feel really comfortable here. I think I will miss this temp opportunity when the end of March comes along.
One of the managers I work with (he is not my direct manager), decided to shave off his hair for the child cancer foundation, and so on the 27th of this month he will shave off his hair along with one of his colleagues. And to think that this is really just because they felt they really wanted to do something. I can't tell you how much we appreciate that they are willing and able to support CCF and if I think about just how much support CCF gives the families on their books. Around 150 Kiwi kids every year gets diagnosed with cancer every single year and for many of us the road is really really long. So CCF needs around NZ$6million dollars every year to be able to do the job they need to do and yet they get no government funding, they get no assistance from any other association or society as far as I know. Go visit his site (Bianca's photo is on there too!) and if you can it would be great if you are able to support him (click here for his site).
I've also been following the adventures of 4 mums who started a blog as they prepare to shave off their hair at the National Funrazor event that will be at the end of this year. Their aim is to raise around NZ$50,000 between the 4 of them. They each have their own story, their own journey with child cancer. There is Shanelle - mum of little Kyah who sadly passed away last year a week before turning 3. I remember how incredibly heartbroken I felt for them. I followed their journey for a very long time and remember the first time we met them when Bianca was admitted in hospital way back in July 2007 if I remember correctly. Shanelle is in the process to write a book about Kyah's journey and I can't wait for it to be published.
There is also Catherine whose son Sean had a non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma with CNS disease and he went from being fine one minute to being in ICU the next. He also relapsed, had full-body radiation and finally had a bone marrow transplant. Thankfully Sean is doing really well at the moment.
Then there is Becs whose son Liam had a very rare type of cancer - so much so that they didn't initially know what the best treatment would be. The sad part is that prior to that Liam's dad had cancer too and sadly passed away from that, so for them to have to walk this journey again, must have been incredibly hard. Thankfully they have just completed scans and he is all clear. They are now hoping to pick up the pieces and put the journey behind them.
And then Alma. Another mom from our Wellington days. Here is an extract from her story (full entry here):
"May 23 2007 David had a operation(just under 12 hours)to cut the tumor out.The operation was a success but came with a price.David lost his ear,half of bottom jaw,the musscles on the right side of tounge and has know feeling on the right side of his face even his eye is not 100% but still can see. David hasn't eaten in 18months so has a feeding button in his tummy. Mid February 2008 David found another lump,same cancer different place(leg).This time David was given a time limit and do we give David quainty or quality of life.David is older enough to make up his own mind so the choice is his.We had treatment all over again.Treatment was either in Wellington or Auckland and sometimes I had to leave the other boys behind and that was really hard. David had treatment then had a 3hour operation to cut out the tumor".
And then tonight I read their latest update:
"I wish I was sending this update on a happy note. David has had a relapse. Same leg just above where the other lump was. We found the lump about 4 weeks ago, had scans last week got results today. The cancer has now travelled to his lungs. David has options. We have decided that David is old enough to decide what to do, treatment or not, quality or quantity."
I'm so very sad for Alma and David and the rest of their family. It breaks my heart each time I read about a family that has to walk this journey and even more so when they have to do it a second or maybe even a third time or when their options become limited, and it is even harder when it is somebody you have met. And all I can ask is that you keep them and all these other families in your prayers and thoughts, and visit their site to show your support for what they are trying to do - raising funds for CCF as a thank you for all the support CCF gives families like us and them.