Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cancer battler Kyah still clinging to life

By TAMMY BUCKLEY and KRISTIAN SOUTH - Sunday News | Sunday, 19 October 2008

Brave cancer tot Kyah Milne was last night continuing to cling to life with her family by her side.

The two-year-old Wellington girl has captured the hearts of the nation, with her dedicated parents Shanell Christian and Jason Milne continuing to spend as much precious time with their daughter as she slowly dies of the neuroblastoma cancer that has riddled her body.

"We're now just really playing it hour by hour," Shanell told Sunday News yesterday.

"It used to be months, weeks, then it was days. Now we are into the hours every hour is a bonus.

"She is battling on but she's pretty sleepy, she's not doing a whole lot. We appreciate every hour we have with her now."

Sunday News last week told the story of little Kyah and her family's heart-wrenching plight, which is documented in an online journal written by Shanell.

The family had moved Kyah's third birthday party forward a month to last weekend, to give the hundreds of people touched by the precious youngster a chance to say goodbye.

"She wasn't expected to live past last weekend. We'd all resigned ourselves to saying goodbye but she's still here," Shanell said.

"She's playing by her own rules at the moment."

Shanell said the family were unsure how much longer Kyah could hold on.

Since our front-page article last Sunday, Kyah's online journal has become bombarded with messages of support.

"Her journal is getting so many hits. We used to get 14 or 15 comment but now we're in the 60s. The support is huge, absolutely huge."

Well-wishers have donated more than $2400 to the Child Cancer Foundation.

By HAYDEN DONNELL - North Shore Times | Tuesday, 14 October 2008

TUI SONG: Tui McLeod sang to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation.

Child cancer donors have been drawn to open their wallets by a North Shore songbird.

Birkdale six-year-old Tui McLeod was diagnosed with a large tumour on her brain stem in May 2007 after waking up paralysed on her right side.

Surgery and long-running chemotherapy did not stop her giving her all to raise cash for the Child Cancer Foundation this month.

She sang her favourite tunes from Phantom of the Opera and interviewed celebrities at the foundation’s Cash Cube for Kids event.

Mum Deborah Lennon says cancer has not taken away Tui’s love of life or desire to be in the spotlight.

She wants to become an ambassador for the Child Cancer Foundation and she raises money for the foundation because it helped and supported her through her cancer journey.

"They’ve helped relieve the financial burdens and the emotional stress. It has just taken that pressure off," says Ms Lennon.

"There’s so many families out there that need support, they need this money."

A group of AUT students designed the Cash Cube for Kids event, which raised about $3500 for child cancer. They designed a brightly coloured cube to which people were encouraged to stick their donations.

Student Melanie Michels of Torbay says: "It was really rewarding interacting with the kids and raising money for such a good cause. It was also amazing to see how generous Aucklanders really are."