Monday Inspiration: Nic Russell and Kenzie's legacy
When 2 and a half year old Kenzie Eireann was diagnosed with cancer, her mother Nic R faced every parent's nightmare.
"Yes I knew there was something seriously wrong with my baby. But now I had been told they had at last found something. I wanted to take it all back. I wanted my life back as it was. But it was too late, and into surgery toddler Kenzie must go."
After initial surgery, the real fight began.
Kenzie underwent extensive chemotherapy, pushing her body to limits which would challenge any adult, let alone a toddler. When Nic realised that the physical treatments were beginning to have a major affect on Kenzie emotionally, she had to do something to help.
Nic's training as a play specialist helped Kenzie through her pain and reignited the cheeky spark that had been dulled during her extreme treatment.
In December 2005, Kenzie won her battle against cancer but unfortunately her body had been through too much and she died from organ failure. Her family wanted to share their knowledge, experience and advice with other families. Kenzie's Gift was born!
Now Nic and a team of experts work together to run Kenzie's Gift - the voice of mental health and wellbeing for children, young people and families affected by cancer. Anyone can go to them for help; parents, children and teachers will find information on how to deal with cancer and what to expect.
The charity also encourages people to Raise money for charity though sport; from triathlons to a 2500km cycle ride, there are some amazing challenges out there which you can fundraise for. Nic is taking on the Challenge Wanaka triathlon in January and this is only one reason why she was selected as our Monday Inspiration!
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