Rory Gardiner's Webpage

18, Oct, 2011

Tuesday 18th October 2011

We have had the most fantastic support for Rory’s trip to Disneyworld. Following the grant from the Mellowpuff Trust, and the donations generated by the article in the Midweek newspaper, 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 events in the last two weeks of school. We have been overwhelmed and deeply touched by people’s generosity, and also their stories and best wishes. I have tried to record the names of all those who helped make the trip possible. We want to thank you. We send our love and a big hug. We feel like you will be with us on our adventure.

Huapai-Kumeu Lions Club
Gavin & Julie Burtleson
Air New Zealand
Mike Tod
Shelley Crawford
Hells Pizza NZ
(Stu & Callum)
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
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

We now have sufficient funds to pay for the trip. We have been 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 will cover our daily living expenses while we are away i.e. food, transport. The donations over the last three weeks have given us the ability to see and do many of the things on our wish list; Legoland, the Kennedy Space Centre, Daytona Speedway, 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. There has been much excitement in our house as we plan how to spend our days. We will do what we do best, and cram in heaps, to ensure Rory has a trip he will never forget. I will keep a daily diary and take heaps of photos so we can share it with you when we return.

The last week of the school term was action packed. We wore Bandanas for Canteen to promote awareness of teenagers in NZ with cancer. Both boys chose bandanas with maori animal designs by Taranaki ultra-marathon runner Lisa Tamati. Sean and I attended Parent Teacher interviews. Sam and Rory both received a Principal’s Award, and Rory has made substantial gains in some areas of numeracy and literacy. We were very proud. However, a few days later Sam responded to bullying by another pupil with a mouth full of inappropriate language, surprising us all. It was a good reminder for Sean and I to not put too much pressure on Sam to constantly achieve. We all make mistakes, and it’s acceptable to do so. Trainee teacher Mr D’Ath finished his time in Rory’s class by taking an archery session. Rory took his bow to school, and was in his element. Sam and three of his friends started attending the Central Football Development Academy in New Plymouth on Friday nights. They are enjoying the opportunity to hone their skills for next season.

The school holidays are passing quietly by. I have used the holidays as a chance to catch up prior to our trip. The boys are lucky they have had Nana Honnor to take them out for some fun; Real Steel at the movies (Smurf’s was too tame), swimming at the Aquatic Centre and getting books out from the Public Library. We have made the most of the ‘extra’ time to improve our fitness. Sam and I are now running 6km three times a week, and Rory is riding flat out on his bike to stay ahead. This morning we pushed a little harder and covered 8km before breakfast. There were some red faces eating cereal! The boys have each put together a box for Operation Christmas Child which we read about in the local newspaper. I have been organising Rory’s next MRI, blood tests and clinic appointment. When we arrive back into Auckland from America Rory has to go straight to Starship for his next round of monitoring. I am glad he is going for a check up as he has been bruising easily. Last week he tripped on the escalator in town and it left a nasty big bruise on his leg. Last week he had an x-ray taken of his wrist - a bone scan. They measure his bones and compare it to his chronological age.

He lost a year of growth due to treatment for cancer, and even with the daily growth hormone injections he isn't growing at a 'normal' rate.

We have continued our exploring, and this month have enjoyed being by the sea. We covered the area south of Oakura, assisted with the NZ dotterel census by counting birds at Sandy Bay at high tide, and tramped the short circuit at Whitecliffs. Sam and Sean collected mussels off the rocks at low tide, while Rory and I went treasure hunting in the flotsam and jetsum.  There were lumps of a smelly bumpy bright orange substance which even I
couldn't identify and gave a wide berth!

Colt is 10 months old this week. He is eating three meals a day and is still breast fed, although we are down to four times a day. He is bright and well, although has had a series of winter colds. He loves being part of the action, and can now move himself along the floor from one end of the house to the other. He even went un-noticed out the open front ranch slider onto the deck this week. When he is at his happiest he kicks his legs and waves his arms with joy and excitement, and he has a lovely broad smile. He is into everything, and knows what no means (and tries again anyway). He has started going on buggy rides with Educator Sharon, and playing the musical instruments at Space. We took a cast of his foot at the end of the term and it sits on our kitchen windowsill, a precious little object.

I have had the fortune, since my last web entry, of sharing my birthday with some lovely ladies who are dear to me. Happy Birthday Grannie Gardiner, Mandy and Heni.

Last but not least I want to thank Sandy, the staff, and customers at Hells Pizza for their ongoing donations. They have been diligently set aside this year to pay for the swimming lessons and maths tuition which Rory needs to aid his recovery. They are much appreciated.