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Rory Gardiner's Webpage

10, Aug, 2010

Tuesday 9th August 2010


Our life in Taranaki is developing its own routine as we become settled.  We are slowly finding a new ‘normal’ which can’t help but be influenced by the appearance of cancer in our lives.  School is a constant.  I walk the boys to school, stay until 10amish, and walk home.  The Teacher Aide’s support Rory from 10am-2pm.  I walk back to school by 2pm to take over for the last half hour.  The walking is good for me, and there is always plenty to do in my away from school time.  On Friday after school Rory had his friend Ethan over to play.  I am pleased both boys are developing friendships and are not alone.  The school has organised for the hall to be allocated to Rory for indoor soccer during Tuesday lunch break.  Rory chooses the teams (4-aside), and the TA supervises play.  It is a great way for Rory to be active safely and play with other children.  Sam had his first soccer game for Inglewood on Saturday morning.  They played the Merrilands Rangers in New Plymouth.  Unfortunately they lost 5-3 but there are some promising players in the team, and Sam enjoyed being back on the field. 

I am half way through my pregnancy, 20 weeks (provided the baby stays put full term).  Sam came at 36 weeks.  I had my last scan on Friday and it revealed a very active little boy (the amnio was right!).  All seems to be going as it should.  I finally let my guard down and bought an outfit to bring him home in, and some nappies, with Rory’s help.  He is quite excited about the prospect of being a big brother, whereas Sam is more blasé (he’s 10 going on 13!). 

Four special happenings have occurred since my last web entry.  Grannie and Grandad Gardiner stopped in to visit us on their road trip around the upper North Island.  We were happy to see them.  I think they went away feeling better having seen for themselves we were settled.  Unfortunately their stop was a brief one.  We hope they will come and stay with us for a bit longer later in the year.  We attended an afternoon tea in New Plymouth with Westpac Bank and the Halberg Trust.  The event was for children with disabilities, and their families, who had received grants for sports lessons or equipment from the Trust’s Activity Fund during the last 12 months.  We were glad for the opportunity to say thank-you.  Rory gave the Halberg Trust rep a card and a photo of himself riding his trike (which they paid to be created from his bike).  On Thursday afternoon after school Rory attended an athletics coaching session for children with disabilities organised by Sport Taranaki.  He did some throwing (long rockets, catch tail balls), some batting (off a t-ball stand), and ran a lap of the stadium (400m), walking when he needed to.  It was the farthest I have seen Rory run in 17 months.  I had tears in my eyes.  He was determined to do it.  It is equally heart breaking and heart swelling to see him run.  He has limited control of his legs and feet, which splay out wide for balance.  He stumbles a lot, and tripped a couple of times, but didn’t give up.  His courage is inspiring.  On Saturday afternoon we went 10 pin bowling with families from Taranaki whose children have been affected by cancer, and who are members of the Child Cancer Foundation or Canteen.  There were five bowlers on our team, and I was by far the least talented!  Afterwards boys had a couple of games of air hockey, and we sat down to a dinner of Pizza with the other families.  There was prizegiving (Canteen beat CCF) and a presentation on Canteen, which I think is going to be a valuable source of support for the boys when they get older.