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Sunrise walk helps hospice

SARAH ROBERTS
Last updated 05:00 13/03/2014
 Rosie Kennedy
GOOD MEMORIES: Totara Hospice youth ambassador Rosie Kennedy is walking the 2014 Sunrise Walk in memory of her nana.

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Rosie Kennedy couldn't think of a better way to remember her late nana on her birthday than taking a stroll in the park.

The Totara Hospice South Auckland youth ambassador will be putting on her trainers for the hospice's Sunrise Walk on March 30.

Her nana Anita would have been celebrating her 79th birthday if she had still been here.

"My nana was really lovely. She lived next door to us since I was little.

"We used to do baking, colouring and I helped in her garden," Rosie says.

Anita, a Mangere resident, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010. Doctors told her there was no cure and put the family in touch with Totara Hospice.

Rosie, now 15, used to sit with her grandmother after school, caring for her in her last days.

Anita's husband Ron says the hospice nurses who came to their home cared for his wife with the utmost respect and she stayed in the in-patient unit during her battle with cancer.

She died just days before her birthday on March 24, 2011.

Rosie, a Lynfield College student, is thanking hospice for the care they gave her grandmother by becoming the charity's first youth ambassador.

"Just seeing how they helped my nana I thought it would be nice to help and fundraise," she says.

Throughout the year she will be volunteering at hospice events to increase youth involvement. The teenager has already come up with a competition for the 2014 Sunrise Walk.

Young walkers are encouraged to take "selfies" and load them on instagram with #sunrisewalk2014.

Rosie's brother Eddie is entering a Lynfield College team in the 10km team relay.

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- Manukau Courier

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