Back to Idyllic Waiheke Life
20 Apr 2012
Five-year-old Loren Harvey is living a dream life on Auckland’s beautiful Waiheke Island.
She is glowing with a pretty light tan gained on the island which is reputed to be two degrees hotter than mainland New Zealand! 2012 is going to be a good year for Loren and her family, but 2011 wasn’t smooth running.
Loren was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in April last year after spending a few weeks with very low energy and feeling generally off colour. On the day of her first blood test to find out what was wrong, she was admitted to Starship Hospital and spent the best part of the next six months living full time, even having her 5th birthday there. In fact she spent just six days back home with parents Mary and Antony and little sister Emily.
Added to the isolation, there was a measles outbreak in Auckland during Loren’s stay which meant she couldn’t even be visited by Emily anymore, who she was missing very much. Even before the outbreak, Loren could only see her sister two hours a week as her immune system was so low.
Mary and Antony would “swap shifts” during the period to make sure they could both spend time with each of their children.
Loren enjoyed visits from CCF Family Support coordinator Helen Frost. “Helen was amazing bringing a smile whenever she came to the room,” says Mary. From stories, breaking up a relatively monotonous routine to arranging bikes for the girls, when she heard we wanted to get some, Helen was always amazingly well received.”
Loren was also supported by her Waiheke Island community through the Jassy Dean Trust, which paid for her ferry trips into the city for treatment.
Loren completed treatment on October 10th and is now having monthly blood tests. She has 740 Beads of Courage.
She missed out on starting school when she turned five, because she was in hospital but was looking forward to starting in February this year. “Starting school will be a big boost. Loren is reading at her age level, through work we have done at home and she can’t wait to get to school and see her friends.”
Loren has a big appetite for learning to read and draw. She also enjoys her pink scooter and has recently learned how to go down a small hill and is now trying to master jumping while on it. On weekends she likes cycling with her sister and playing in the sea on the beautiful Waiheke beaches.
Loren has certainly missed out on some of the Waiheke Island lifestyle, but this year she is happily making up for lost time, while at the same time giving back to Child Cancer by fronting up as one of the Foundation’s faces. We look forward to seeing more of Loren’s glowing face in the month ahead!
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