The Prince family of Upper Hutt have support and love from many people as they cope with the illness of their 7½-year-old daughter, Emily.
The family have travelled between Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland at various times in their journey of diagnosis and treatment of myelodysplasia.
They returned to Auckland some weeks ago for Emily’s bone marrow transplant. Emily has support from her school, St Joseph’s, Upper Hutt. The parish newsletter keeps the wider faith community up-to-date with progress.
Mr Prince said there were lots of medical people to thank — at Lower Hutt Hospital, Wellington Hospital, Christchurch Hospital CHOC Ward (Children’s Haemotology and Oncology Clinic), and Wards 27A and 27B at Starship.
When they have had to fly to Christchurch, they’ve landed with text messages of welcome from the CHOC team.
“They are very special people in there,” Mrs Prince said.
Emily’s lead specialist there is Siobahn Cross. “She said to me on the phone, ‘I need you to know, I am in Christchurch, you are in Wellington, but every day when I am talking to medical people, I am thinking of Emily and talking of how we can help this little girl’.”
In Auckland, people come in several times a week to prepare meals for them. Mrs Prince told NZ Catholic on November 12 that the previous evening people from RaboBank in Thames had cooked lasagne, chicken drumsticks, and roast potatoes. One of them had had family involvement with cancer. “They just wanted to pay it forward,” she said.
The transplant nurse at Starship is Nicola Parker. “It’s her main role. Wing Che, she’s the doctor. They are amazing.”
Other great people, Mr Prince said, were those at Ronald McDonald House, and the Child Cancer Foundation in Wellington and Auckland. “Sally Black in Wellington is a very special lady.”
He works for the Fire Service, he said, and his senior managers had told him to focus on his family, and Emily getting well. That was special, too.