Concert to help fund fight for life
Life should be exciting for 22-year-old Leeza Edwards.
But in a cruel twist of fate, she is living with a terminal diagnosis of lymphatic leukemia and bowel cancer and doctors have warned she may have just six to nine months left to live.
Her father Graeme Sullivan says the diagnosis "shattered every one of us".
"At first, we felt angry, then confused," he says.
"No parent should have to bury their child.
"Eventually this is going to kill her. It's very difficult to take on but it's like anything, life does go on."
Edwards, from Ramarama, has just completed a nine week bout of radiotherapy at Auckland Hospital.
But instead of the more invasive chemotherapy, she has opted for alternative treatment using a rife machine, costing $500 to $800 per session, with at least 20 sessions required.
She has two 30 to 40 minute sessions each week.
"It makes you feel like you're going to vomit the whole time but you don't," she says.
Sullivan has organised a fundraising concert, Leeza's Fight for Life, with all proceeds going to his daughter to contribute to the cost of her treatment. He has been a musician for 25 years and is the drummer for (In) Human. While they will not be performing, there will be performances by five bands covering rock, blues and metal.
"I thought it would be a good thing to organise a concert for her and give back to the people that have helped us," he says.
Edwards suffered a stroke when she was 15 years old.
She made a full recovery and the family thought nothing more of it.
She then continued to get sick and was in and out of hospital for the next five years.
"I had a lot of cysts on my ovaries so was in and out twice every month.
"I thought it was just something young girls go through," she says.
At 21, the former corporate receptionist felt well for a period of six to seven months before finally being diagnosed with lymphatic leukemia and bowel cancer a year ago.
"Life has changed so much. When I was working, I had to be presentable.
"I went from wearing makeup and having my hair done every day to not having nails or hair done and wearing pyjamas every day."
Family have set up a Give a Little fundraising page for Edwards to help her see out some of her biggest dreams.
"I'd really love to go to Thailand and ride an elephant," she says. "I have only been to Australia."
See givealittle.co.nz/cause/LeezasFightForLife to donate to Leeza.
April 5 from 7pm at Zeal West, 20 Alderman Drive, Henderson.
Email Graeme at email@example.com for ticket details.
All ages welcome.
Pre-booked tickets are automatically in a prize draw.
■ Forsaken Age
■ Static Era
■ Blackleaf Gardens
■ Eric Tricklebank
Prizes on offer include:
■ The use of a brand new Honda CRZ for one month
■ A private training session with the All Blacks
■ A tour of the Shortland Street set
■ A signed Auckland Blues rugby jersey
■ A Samsung Galaxy S3 mini