Trip to Disneyworld USA 2011


In March 2010 the Huapai-Kumeu Lions Club, Auckland, contacted Ronald McDonald House with a potential opportunity for one lucky family to visit Disneyworld in Florida, USA. We were offered this chance. Air NZ generousy offered to substantially discount airfares for our family. We had one hurdle to overcome, obtaining travel insurance for Rory. Despite an exhaustive search we could not find an insurance company in New Zealand prepared to provide cover for Rory as he had only been off treatment for three months. We were not prepared to travel without insurance so we had to decline the offer. We assumed another family would enjoy the opportunity.

In June 2011 I received a call from the Huapai-Kumeu Lions saying the opportunity was still on the table until November. I was shocked and excited but cautious as the same hurdle remained. One insurance company, Chartis, indicated they would consider providing travel cover for Rory if his MRI scan in July did not show any evidence of cancer. In mid-July Rory returned to Starship Hospital for his four-monthly monitoring, and thankfully his MRI was clear. He has now been in remission for 19 months. I sent the results to the insurance company and at the end of July we were advised they would provide travel cover. In early August AirNZ generously offered us the same deal on airfares. We estimated the trip would cost a minimum of $7,000 if we did everything on a shoestring, and we were on a tight timeframe as the trip was booked for the end of November. We had to fundraise for the trip as we were on a tight budget.

We received the most fantastic support for Rory’s trip. A grant from the Mellowpuff Trust allowed us to pay for the airfares. Several donations were received following an article in the Midweek newspaper, and money found its way to us in many ingenious ways. Donations were given to Nana Honnor by volunteers at the New Plymouth Hospice shop, people donated via Rory’s website, letters arrived in our mail box and were delivered to Smokeylemon Web Design and the Midweek Newspaper, we received phone calls, visits to our home, staff came up to us at work, and Rooms 5 and 13 from Inglewood Primary School organised several fundraising events in the last two weeks of school. We were overwhelmed and deeply touched by people’s generosity, and also their stories and best wishes. I tried to record the names of all those who helped make the trip possible. We thank you. We send our love and a big hug. We feel like you were with us on our adventure.


Huapai-Kumeu Lions Club Gavin & Julie Burtleson Air New Zealand Mike Tod
Shelley Crawford Uncle Jason & Wendy Tania Monk Brimelow family
Mandy McGregor Bill Crofsky Poole family Kim Jansen
Mellowpuff Trust Carolyn Arthur Dean Caskey Dawn Laurence
Nana & Poppa Honnor Uncle Guy Auntie Teri Uncle David Hayes
Jennie Reed Virginia Winder Marie & Mac Yeates Miss Smith & Room 5
Barnes family Terri Barker Sara Stonier Regan Kempson
Bob & Karen Schumacher Rhonda Crow Susette Goldsmith Antonia Vinsen
Edward Raitt Williams family RW & MV Young Mrs E Phillips
Bev Moffatt Mrs Patterson Mrs Molloy Val Donald
Molly Ryan Rest Home R Paton Shane Martin Robyn Strampel
Shirley & Dave Susans Don & Janet Christian Jennie Miller Boyd family
Bell family Victoria Demby TRC Social Club Darlene Ladbrook
Kerry Matthews Erin Zydervelt Sophie Arnoux Rebecca Martin
Hells Pizza NZ (Stu and Callum)
Inglewood Primary School staff, students & their families
Buckthought family & Buckthought Engineering
Miss Burleigh & Room 13
Merrill Campbell & the Sleep family
Grannie & Grandad Gardiner
Hells Pizza New Plymouth (Sandy Blackburn)
Smokeylemon Website Design

In total $15,000 was raised. We were very fortunate the donations arrived in three stages, just as they were needed. The Inglewood Lions and Mellowpuff Trust grants ensured Rory’s trip could go ahead, covering airfares, accommodation and travel insurance. The second wave of donations covered our daily living expenses while we were away i.e. food, transport. The final donations gave us the ability to see and do many of the things on our wish list; Legoland, the Kennedy Space Centre, Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, an airboat ride, and day trips to Ocala National Forest, and the golden beaches of Florida’s east coast. Please share our trip with us by reading about it and checking out the photos.


Support for Rory's family following his diagnosis with cancer in 2009

In 2009 a total of $21,345 was donated to Rory and his family by the community, and they received many kind acts. This enabled Leigh & Sean to support Rory for nine months while he fought for his life. Leigh, Sean, Sam & Rory would like to thank everyone for their love, support, kind acts & generous donations. "We are overwhelmed, humbled and grateful. You all helped us in the fight for Rory's life. We couldnt have done it without you."

We would particularly like to thank the following people for their love, support, and generosity; Grannie and Grandad Gardiner, Nana and Poppa Honnor, Uncle Guy, cousins Sacha and Corby, Auntie Teri and Uncle Graham, Trudi & Kody Johnston and family, Brenda Crawford, Dianne and Riccardo Zuchetto and the staff in the Policy and Monitoring Department at Whangarei District Council, the Wily family, Mandy McGregor and the staff at Smokeylemon, Clive and Iris Fremlin, Katherine and Kory Morrison, Jason, Wendy, Logan and Mikayla Burns, the staff at Dargaville Primary School (particularly Whaea Danielle, Wendy Hallett, Jenny Vallance, Mr Russek, Mrs MacLean, Mrs Stevens), the staff on Ward 26a Starship Hospital particularly Andrew Law, Dr Jason, and the nurses, the staff on Ward 27A &B at Starship Hospital, particularly Dr Stephen and the nurses, the Miller family, the Newman family, the Jeffries family, Tim Shaw, Moneypenny aka Lyn, the New Plymouth girls and family (Jo, Janine, Darlene, Cindy), Heni Mathews, Pabs, Ross and Karen Wharfe, Uncle Hami and Auntie Hilary, Sandy and the staff at Hell's Pizza New Plymouth, Kaipara Mayor Neil Tiller, Jason Campbell, Ian Hunter, the Friends of Brain Injured Children NZ Trust, and Oona Smith and Make a Wish.


Dargaville Primary School Rory Day

Whangarei District Council Fundraiser

Kina Cut for Rory

Hair was falling in the Dargaville main street on Saturday (13th of June) as 16 people shaved their heads to support Rory. Three prominent and lovely blokes in the community went first, Mayor Neil Tiller, Dargaville Primary Principal Mr Russek, and owner of Dargaville Hunting and Fishing Jason Campbell. They were followed by six burly blokes from Carters Building Supplies. The two youngest members, 8 year old Zach Wily a good friend of Rory's, and Rory's brother Sam, aged 9, went next. The two crowd pleasers were planned for the end of the event, dad Sean who had his head shaved by Rory, and Dargaville dynamo Trudi who shed some tears as her hair fell. Three spontaneous members of the crowd came up on stage to cap off the event, Mark Wily owner of Blah Blah Blah Cafe, Lucy Heller, and intermediate pupil Tahlia Rogers-Brown. The cake stall, the sale of green Rory ribbons and sausages and bread, and the auction of flax kete rounded off activities. There was great support from the Kaipara community and $3759.90 was raised on the day, with more pledges to come.

Rory and his family would like to say a massive thank you to event organiser Trudi Johnston (yes she still looks beautiful without hair), and Katherine Milich for all their hard work, and the following for their generous support;

* Ad Focus (printing of flyers and Poster)
* Kaipara Mayor Neil Tiller
* Hunting & Fishing (Manager Jason, Shop front, donation of beanies for bald heads)
* Blondyz Hairdressing ( Nicky, Kim and Dianne)
* Circus Kumarani
* Carters (Sausages, Bread, 6 heads of hair! )
* Gillespie Panelbeaters (BBQ)
* DPS Principle Mr Russek
* DPS ukulele players (including Whaea Danielle, Wendy Salter and Mrs Sandford)
* DPS PTA (Took the leftover sausages Teresa Steed (Chairperson) Very helpful!)
* Dave & Gay Duder (Truck)
* Gloris Flowers & Gifts
* Volunteers ( Too many to name! But a big thank you to Kim Wedgwood for solely chopping 10kgs of Onions for Sausage sizzle - no tears till today!)
* Many people who donated cakes
* The Dargaville Community
* On the spot shavees Lucy Heller, Mark Willy and Tahlia Rodgers-Brown
* Clive and Iris Fremlin (Harakeke kete)

Rory thought the whole things was CRAZY!

The Pioneers 'Rory Gardiner fundraiser bake off'

The Pioneers 'Rory Gardiner fundraiser bake off' On behalf of the Gardiner Family Kathryn and Trudi would like to sincerly Thank the Pioneer Bar and the wider Orewa community for their generosity at the "Dessert Bake Off" held on Friday 6th June 2009.

The evening was a huge success with lots of yummy desserts and cake being auctioned off after judging.

The 'local' entertainment generated a great atmosphere, increasing generosity resulting in a truely AMAZING $1512.70 being raised!!!

All proceeds going directly to the Gardiner Family.

Your caring and generous community spirit has help in making a difference on Rorys journey.

Kind Regards

Kathryn and Trudi

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