Rory Gardiner's Webpage

29, Aug, 2012

August 2012 update

When people see Rory and hear his story I don’t think they agree with me when I tell them he is lucky. But he is. Every day in another part of the world a child loses their battle with brain cancer. Being part of an international community of families on the same journey gives us intimate insight into what might have been. It is heartbreaking. I wanted to share with you one mother’s post from this morning. Her son is near the end of his fight “I don't cry myself to sleep at night, although I shed a tear over it all every day. It seems as though a strong hope has been planted in our hearts and it grows. That seems so unbelievable at a time like this, but I cannot deny it. I don't necessarily mean the hope of healing, although I can't help but hope that. It is a hope of something bigger than an earthly healing, something like the hope of eternity in a good and beautiful place where we will never part again”. Rory is very much alive and with us. He is cramming many great things in the time he has been given. Over the past six weeks he has competed for Kohanga Moa (Inglewood) in the Taranaki schools kapa haka festival, achieved third place in the Year 5 speech finals with his speech on alopecia “Lots of famous blokes have no hair; Yoda, Bruce Willis, Kermit the frog, Vin Diesel, and me”, and run the school cross country walking only a little and beating several others. He remains true to himself, strong willed, cheeky, loving and tolerant, and his great group of friends help him fit into the world. He has had Ethan sleep over, played 10 pin bowling for Cameron’s birthday, and continued to be part of a team at soccer on Saturday mornings. We got a photo taken of the boys for an Inglewood Primary fundraiser, and I can’t wait to see it. They are very much a unit. Colt trails along after the big boys calling “Rory” and “Sammy” in his little voice. At the start of the term we picked up a $345 donation from Hells Pizza (thank you to Sandy and her wonderful generous customers). This will enables Rory to continue to receive maths tuition from Clever Kids.

Sam seems to put his hand up for everything. He and Sean spent an afternoon in the shed building a water rocket for the Taranaki Science Fair. It was the best looking out of all the entries but unfortunately its wings blew off when it was fired into the air! Sam attended the rep trials to try and secure a spot on the Taranaki U13 football team. His trial was on while we were in Northland so he had to run with the U14s. He performed well but wasn’t chosen. He was quite disappointed. In addition to Saturday mornings Sam has been playing soccer for Inglewood Primary in the intermediate interschool competitions. It has been frustrating for him as he plays to win, and had to watch while many of the good players were poached to form a rugby team. Sam enjoyed participating in the Taranaki Rippa Rugby competition for intermediate students, and last week was placed 5th in the school cross country (12 year old boys). He competed in the Inglewood Cluster schools competition today (while I served on the food stall) and got 4th. I was proud of him and ran over to give him a hug, it was a good run considering he has been unwell. He caught a virus about a month ago and it lingered. His health took a nose dive and blood tests showed he was fighting a bacterial infection, most likely in his chest. After a double dose of antibiotics he is now on the mend. Sean and I had to make a decision on which high school to send Sam to, and it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Sam and I attended the open evening for New Plymouth Boys High. There was a tour of the school and a half hour presentation. We were both quite impressed, and cousin Logan will be going to school there next year. Poppa Honnor went there as a lad. If Sam attended NP Boys High it would mean our family would be stretched 50km across Taranaki. It would force us to find extra time, and money, and take our lives up a notch. We had to weigh up whether it was worth it given Inglewood High is a good school, only a few hundred metres from home, part of our community, and is where all Sam’s friends are going. Inglewood High here he comes! Sam spent a week this term on the Assist (Gifted Kids) programme. The highlights for him were visiting EcoInn a solar, wind and hydro powered property, and hearing guest speakers talk about their careers and the paths they took to get there. Sam has also been enjoying time with his good mates; attending a sleepover for Kalind’s birthday, having Keiran and Taylor stay over, and biking with Jordan to the north Egmont entrance to the National Park.

Colt is now 20 months old, and finally weaned. He has had his first blood test. Like his brothers he didn’t make a sound until right at the end. His iron levels were checked as low iron level is linked to breath holding spells. Thankfully all was ok. The Paediatrician told us the breath holding is likely something he will grow out of, and he has only had one episode in the past month. Colt had his 18 month check up at Plunket and he is talking at the level of a two year old. This didn’t surprise me as all Gardiner males like to yak! He has had his first visit to the Dental Nurse, and came home smiling with a buzzy bee on a string of floss around his neck. He continues to split his time during the week with Sharon the Porse Educator (Happy Birthday Sharon J ) while I am at work, and me. He has a lovely group of friends at Sharon’s; Dee-ann, Ella, Sophie, Max and Cooper. Sharon is awesome with the children and they have all sorts of fun; music, visits to the park and the library, games, stories and songs. On Monday mornings Colt and I immerse ourselves in the activities at Playcentre. Colt enjoys being outside. He has had great fun on the new bike track, and in the dirt of the recently excavated areas. He loves water play, slime, and exploring the fort. The wet weather doesn’t deter him. On indoor days he dabbles in painting, we read stories, and he tries out the collage. A highlight for us this term was a visit to Kairau marae for Maori Language week. We learnt some Taranaki Reo, made a poi, shared kai, and sang some waiata.

Surprisingly we have packed a lot in even though the weather has been wet enough to cancel several soccer practices, turn our section into a wetland, and postpone cross country twice. Sean and I have continued to keep fit by running and riding as often as we can, regularly taking the boys. Thankfully it is becoming lighter in the mornings, but not warmer - it was 0 today!. Grannie and Grandad Gardiner made a fleeting visit to pick up Sean’s 4WD truck which they have bought. It was lovely to see them and we took Grannie for a walk in the bush at Everett Park. In place of the truck we have purchased an 8-seater van to transport our family, plus the extra mates which seem to accompany us, on our adventures. It was hard for Sean to part with his truck and I have promised we will replace it when we finish with the car. During our trip to Wanganui to pick up the van we made a detour to visit Bushy Park ( ). It is 240 acres of virgin rainforest surrounded by a predator proof fence. We took the boys through the old native timber homestead, and along the Twin Ponga and Ratanui tracks. We enjoyed the abundant birdlife (NI Robin, Tui, Wood pigeon, NI Saddleback) and seeing the largest Northern Rata in New Zealand. We attended the Taranaki vs King Country Ranfuly Shield match held in Inglewood. Neither Sean or I are into rugby but it was a great community event, and I wanted the boys to experience a little of what I experienced as a girl with Poppa at Rugby Park on a Saturday afternoon. The boys ran around with mates, ate hot chips, and kept one eye on the game, much as I had done at their age. Taranaki won 67-16. Last weekend we met up with Great Auntie Mary, Uncle Guy and Sacha at the old Te Henui cemetery in New Plymouth to see the graves of the Honnor ancestors, including the first to came to Taranaki in the 1850s. We took Sam’s friends Taylor and Keiran up the York Road Loop Track on the lower slopes of Mt Taranaki. Rory found several pieces of coal which fuelled the train which once followed the track. Sean caught a koura in the crusher pool to show the boys, and I was lucky enough to spot a rifleman.

Rory and I attended the second Living Legends planting on the Coastal walkway north of Te Rewa Rewa bridge. The first planting was in 2011 for the Rugby World Cup. Rory and I spent a couple of hours planting threatened shore spurge with the Chairman of the Taranaki Tree Trust and the Manager of the Honda Taranaki dealership (who provides a grant to the TT Trust every year). We visited Pukeariki to look at the Banks Florilegium exhibition which contains engravings and samples of native plants from the first visit to Taranaki by Captain Cook on the Endeavour in 1770. Dr Joseph Banks was the Botanist, and Sydney Parkinson was the Artist who made the beautiful coloured engravings. I attended a talk on Taranaki Flora by Dr Bruce Clarkson. He said the removal of native vegetation from the Taranaki ring plain was one of the fastest ecosystem transformations in the world. It was a shocking event. However it is heartening so much is being done in the Taranaki region to restore our original ecosystems. I attended the launch of the Taranaki Biodiversity Accord ( by the Minister of Conservation. The Accord brings together many of the regions agencies, community groups and people who have an interest in biodiversity. The 19 signatories have agreed to work together to set out a strategic vision, desired outcomes, priorities and actions to do what is best for Taranaki. I am proud to be part of this, working for the Taranaki Tree Trust under the umbrella of the Accord.