Cure kid on a mission to help others
Southern Cure Kid Izzy Clogh has fought a deadly form of leukaemia for most of her childhood and won, something she celebrates every day, but especially today.
It's Cure Kids Appeal Day for the charity which is focused on raising awareness and funds for vital research to find cures for kids facing terminal illness.
Part of its activities include the work of Cure Kids ambassadors, those who are living with illness, who are spread across the country.
The only Cure Kids ambassador in Dunedin and the south, Izzy got involved after she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
When she was 8 years old she was taken to her GP with a bleeding nose that would not stop. She was rushed to Dunedin Hospital and immediately transferred to Christchurch Hospital. Four years of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and other intensive treatments followed.
"It was hard for my parents and my whole family," she said.
Izzy, now 17, said she battled the disease until she was 13 and believed her love of horse riding was one of the things that helped her pull through and achieve the all-clear four years ago.
"I thought I was going to die - not good - because when I got really sick they told me to give up horse riding," she said.
"But I didn't. I kept competing and riding my horses through my chemotherapy and stuff. I would have chemotherapy one day, and then the next day I competed in Christchurch. If I was tired the horses would understand. They looked after me."
Izzy now travels occasionally to represent Cure Kids and sometimes gets to mix her business - as a Cure Kids ambassador - with her main pleasure.
"I went to Hastings in March to a big horse show and they supported Cure Kids there. I was there representing Cure Kids as a horse rider who lived with leukaemia.
"I talked in front of so many people it wasn't even funny. I talked about my story."
The Southland Times