Dear Diary, If I meet new kids with cancer, I'll say be brave.
Arriving at the Child Cancer Foundation Family Place for our National Ambassador photoshoot, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is going to be a quiet afternoon as the Brown family hover quietly in reception trying not to distract our four-year old ambassador Darcie, who is finishing her shots.
Not the case. Within 10 minutes, Ngaruawahia-based ambassador Nixon (6 years old), his two older brothers Nathanael, Hunter along with Dad Nick, have Darcie in hysterics and are discussing which wig to wear for our Wig Wednesday shots.
Mum Justine has selected her purple wig and says this is pretty typical for their family, they come into any room with laughter, fun and a fair bit of noise. That approach to every day was essential after Nixon’s diagnosis with ALL in 2013. It was the start of a long journey which has had many ups and downs and split the family across the upper North Island, with Justine and Nick at the hospital in Auckland with Nixon, while Nathanael and Hunter remained in the Waikato to continue school and their familiar lives.
Weekend visits from his brothers was a highlight for Nixon over that time, although Justine says that he coped well with treatment and the time in hospital: “It was like he had decided that this is what’s happening and he’s beating it no matter what. In some ways I think that this journey has made him the way he is. Outgoing, full of life, very determined but also full of love and of course – just wanting to be a typical boy.”
“Knowing there is always someone to talk to, ask for help and especially the events that are organised that put you in contact with other families as well. The support is family wide, especially with siblings.”Nixon's Mum, Justine
Justine says the support they had been receiving from Child Cancer Foundation has been amazing, both while in hospital and at home in Ngaruwahia: “We have made bonds with our Waikato branch that will last a lifetime."
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