Central Leader : November 21st 2014
YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Friday, November 21, 2014 Pampering a treat By JESS LEE CLAUDIA CHANEY has endured hundreds of painful procedures in her lifetime but is ultimately just like any other teenager. She loves clothes, music and make up and shares the same teenage angst as her peers. The 14-year-old spent most of her childhood years in hospital after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at age 3. She developed aggressive graft- versus-host disease as her body fought a bone-marrow transplant and the condition affected her muscles and joints – causing her to lose the ability to walk. She suffered large, non-healing scalp wounds and needed constant skin grafts from her legs. Claudia is now on the mend but years of fighting life-threatening illnesses have left her in need of some pampering. That’s where St Heliers hospice facility Dove House and stylist Jackie O’Fee comes in. O’Fee will be giving Claudia a makeover using clothes and accessories found in Dove House charity shops ahead of the Eastern Bays Hospice’s fundraising event next week. Dove House has also been treating Claudia to facials and massages. ‘‘If Claudia wasn’t sick you might think it’s a little bit trivial but when you’re actually in that situation it’s so important to feel good and get yourself a little bit pampered. It just cheered her up - her skin was glowing and she was happy,’’ her mum Lisa Petersen says. O’Fee will be trawling through Dove Shops with Claudia next Friday to find the perfect outfit. ‘‘Clothes have a really strong impact on your emotions and if you do look good then you feel great,’’ the Newmarket stylist says. Claudia now attends Epsom Girls Grammar full time and says Retail therapy: Claudia Chaney gets a makeover from stylist Jackie O’Fee using items found in Dove House charity shops ahead of the Eastern Bays Hospice’s fundraising event at Hanene Gardens, Kohimarama, next week. it’s hard to believe how far she’s come. ‘‘Now I’m going to school and doing all of that and I wouldn’t have really thought that was possible back then.’’ Doctors feared Claudia would die from infection at the height of her illness. She had to stay in isolation for months and did not return to school for about six years. Her mother even put a stop to lessons at Starship Hospital’s school because of the drugs needed to dull the pain. ‘‘I was having to dose her up on morphine just to stop the pain so she could do lessons and then one day I thought: ‘why am I doing this? Let’s just stop that and we’ll just live and be happy’. ‘‘It didn’t seem like there was a lot of future. Sometimes we would just dress up in costumes and go out because we thought: ‘why not?’’ And it seemed to do the trick. Eventually Claudia’s wounds began to heal and she was discharged from palliative care. ‘‘Now we have the normal worries and the normal teenage things – instead of it being around being sick,’’ Petersen says. Photo: JESS LEE ❚ Tickets are still available for the Eastern Bays Hospice’s fundraising event on November 30. It will feature champagne and high tea, live music, cooking demonstrations by well-known chefs and Jackie O’Fee will demonstrate what outfits to pack for a holiday. Phone 575 4555 for tickets or go to the Remuera or St Heliers Dove shops to book. Imogen’s giving new sports a go By BEN ROGERS Ask Imogen her favourite place to be and she’ll tell you it’s in the pool. The Mt Eden Normal Primary School pupil was born with leber’s congenital amaurosis but being blind doesn’t stop her from swimming. The 5-year-old will be taking part in the Saint Kentigern Halberg Junior Disability Sports Day on Wednesday which gives her the chance to try a range of different sports. Her mother Nettie is keen to Mucking about: Imogen loves playing with her brothers Thomas, right, and Mitchell. Photo: BEN ROGERS give her every chance to succeed. ‘‘We want to give her every opportunity to be as physically confident as any other kid. ‘‘Physical confidence is important for all human beings and getting involved with sports helps Imogen gain that,’’ she says. ‘‘With children with disabilities we often settle for something less but we are very keen to get her to give everything a shot and see what suits her.’’ Imogen is excited to try blind cricket and goalball. ‘‘I am really looking forward to going but I’m nervous,’’ she says. The sports day aims to get children with physical disabilities involved in new sports that are disability specific, Halberg Disability Sport Adviser Marcus Laurie says. ‘‘It’s an opportunity for the students to be able to represent their school in a competitive sport.’’ Imogen receives funding through the Halberg All Sports Activity Fund which enables her to get swimming coaching. ‘‘Her lessons are very hands on and tactile,’’ Nettie says. ‘‘She gets the one-on-one teaching she needs.’’ ❚ The Halberg Junior Disability Sports Day will be held at Saint Kentigern Boys’ School and will include a wide range of sports such as polybat, rowing, sitting volleyball and wheelchair races. Ninety students and 37 schools will take part from around Auckland. Contact Marcus Laurie on marcus@ halberg.co.nz to register.
November 19th 2014