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Giving back to those who gave so much

Last updated 05:00 26/02/2014
Josh Reid
GIVING BACK: Josh Reid, 8, and mum Tina show off Josh’s Beads of Courage necklace, commemorating the hundreds of procedures he’s been through since starting treatment for leukaemia. The Reid family are now fundraising to help other kids with cancer.

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Tina and Tim Reid know what it's like to deal with child cancer.

Son Josh, 8, has endured chemotherapy, joint pain, lumbar punctures, steroid rage and pneumonia since starting his three-year course of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

But while the Pahurehure family has faced the worst cancer has to offer, they've also experienced the best of human nature - and now they want to give something back.

They're fundraising this Saturday to raise money for other kids living with cancer.

The whole neighbourhood gathered around Josh when he was diagnosed in November 2012, Mrs Reid says.

"We got so much help from everyone, the community, Papakura Central School, friends and family dropping off vouchers for us," she says.

Her parents, who live in Karaka, are also "hugely supportive", despite her mum being diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

"We had an amazing amount of support and we were like, well we can't give it back to individuals, but we'd like to go and fundraise for a cause."

Last year the Reids raised $10,000 for the Child Cancer Foundation.

This year half the money they raise will go to the charity and half to an Auckland 10-year-old called Peter Pirie who also has leukaemia.

Everything changes when a kid gets cancer, Mrs Reid says.

"Going a day without vomiting is amazing . . . I can't even say what the worst part is."

But hearing her son say "I want to be in heaven right now" was a low point.

"‘I want to die' - no parent should have to hear that."

Josh has been through the worst of the treatment and his chances are good.

But whatever happens the Reids plan to fundraise every year for child cancer.

Raising money for others is a great way to teach Josh and his two younger brothers about empathy, she says.

"We don't have much, our income coming in is pretty small right now, but our kids still need to learn how to give because that's what we were taught by my parents."

On Saturday the Reids will be selling cakes, sizzling sausages and washing cars at Repco Pukekohe where Mr Reid works.

To help out, get your car washed at 106 Manukau Rd in Pukekohe between 11am and 3pm, or donate to the fundraising bank account: 02-0124-0112530-006.

Search for "Josh - Kicking Leukaemia's Butt Since 2012" on Facebook to see more about Josh's journey.

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- Papakura Courier

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