Update from the South!

Mon Aug. 21st 2023

It has been about 6 months since I have come on board with IDFNZ/Kids Foundation as the South Island patient coordinator, so I thought it was timely to do a bit of an update on what has been happening down here! I hope that all our members are managing to stay healthy, warm and dry this winter, it has been a wet winter in Christchurch so far this year!

I have been thoroughly enjoying contacting all the South Island families and hearing about each individual journey. If I have not made contact, please reach out to me as there are still a few members I have been unable to connect with for a variety of reasons. I look forward to meeting any members and families that I have not yet met at upcoming events or appointments.

There have been a couple of events so far this year.It is fantastic that we are able to start getting back together as a group and have that support from each other again. We had a movie event and a fun filled evening at Inflatable World, hopefully the children all slept well after that! We also hosted two boatshed lunches when the Starship team visited for clinic days, and these will continue throughout the year.

We have two more family events coming up this year; Mega Air on 1st October and the Christmas Party at Orana Park on the 26th of November. I am also planning an adult member catch up in October at the Boatshed, invitations for which will be sent out shortly.

We have the Razzamatazz shows coming up in Christchurch on the 16th of September, these are great shows and I encourage families to attend, again tickets will be sent out in the coming weeks. I will be there on the day and look forward to seeing you all there. If the tickets do not arrive in time, please do not hesitate to reach out so we can ensure you can attend, also if you require extra tickets, please let me know and I can see what I can do!

I have had the privilege of escorting some of our young members up to Auckland on two occasions, to attend the Tiger Unicorn Club Workshops with Debbie.

These were long days, with incredibly early flights to catch and early starts for us all, but well worth it and the children had fun.

These workshops have been beneficial for all the children that have attended, and I highly recommend looking into upcoming workshops for your children. Not only does Debbie help them gain an understanding of how they are feeling and ways to manage those feelings, but it is also a fantastic way for the children to meet and socialize with other children/siblings that know the struggles of living with an illness.

All our energy was restored at the end of the day when we ‘accidentally’ ate some Dunkin Donuts at the airport!

As a way of broadening my knowledge and understanding of the PID members I have been for a tour of the Christchurch Blood Bank and I was amazed at the process that is undertaken to ensure the products our members receive are safe and of the highest quality, if you would be interested in having a tour of the Blood Bank please let me know and I can organize a group tour.

Encouraging plentiful blood donations is certainly an important and practical way that members can get behind the amazing work of the Blood Service and ensure immunoglobulin products from local donors continues to be available for our patient members on IR therapy. I encourage members to get behind the new IDFNZ Team Red challenge being led by local member Liz Murchison.

I am in the process of working out a suitable time for myself to donate blood and I encourage any members or family of members to consider donating if they can. We see firsthand the benefits donations can bring to the lives of our members!

I will continue to make regular updates in the newsletters to ensure members stay up to date on what is happening in the South.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need any support, my phone is always on, and I am quite partial to coffee!

Danielle Pope,

IDFNZ South Island Support