Sisters Mamaeroa, 6, and, Pounamu, 2, live in Papakura with their mum, Alicia, and are both living with long-term health issues related to bronchiectasis and severe asthma.
Mamaeroa health journey began when she was six months old and experiencing respiratory issues. Her condition necessitates monthly injections for life and has also seen her admitted to the Intensive Care Unit on multiple occasions - "too many times for a little girl her age", her mum says. Mamaeroa has developed close relationships with the Kidz First staff and loves them all like family.
Similarly, Pounamu is on the Lungs for Life list, an initiative aimed at preventing bronchiectasis. She too began her health journey at six months old.
The whaanau attended the 2022 Kidz First Christmas Party where they had so much fun! For the girls, "it was a party just for them and kids like them - being at the party made them feel like every other kid which was really nice", says mum, Alicia.
For Alicia, it was a source of support and connection, a reminder that she was not alone in her struggles. Alicia was able to pick her daughters' presents in Middlemore Foundation's 'Toy Shop' which she wrapped and gave out on Christmas morning. Her BBM fresh food pack was so substantial, that it saw them through into the new year which relieved a lot of stress for the solo mum.
This year, however, it is tougher than ever and Alicia has asked herself, "Can we even put on Christmas this year?"
The Kidz First Christmas party will be the only holiday celebration her family has.
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