Harmony gets her big trip
A little girl had the trip of a lifetime to Disneyland thanks, in part, to the generosity of people in Taranaki.
And her parents, Michelle Robb and Mike McLeod, want to say thanks.
Harmony Taurerewa, who turns 5 next month, has terminal cancer.
Her parents spent 12 months fundraising, in New Zealand and in Australia, so Harmony could get to meet Minnie Mouse.
They raised $10,000 in Taranaki and more than $40,000 across the ditch in Sydney.
Last month the family, which includes 20-month-old Dani Taurerewa, went to Disneyland in Hong Kong.
They were originally planning to go to Florida, but the doctor wouldn't give them clearance, Miss Robb said, because the flight was too long.
So, they went to Hong Kong just before Christmas.
''I just wanted to thank our family and friends back in Taranaki and all the wonderful people who helped support her.'' Harmony didn't like Mickey Mouse, but absolutely adored Minnie, she said.
''We stayed in the Hollywood Hotel and Harmony said they were staying in Minnie Mouse's house.''
Funds not used for the trip were helping the family who were living in Sydney, where they were getting specialist treatment, and were also used to organise Harmony's funeral, which will be in Taranaki.
The little girl has stage 4 neuroblastoma and had been given three months to live, but three years ago when she was first diagnosed doctors gave her six months.
''We are really surprised she is still here. She's our little miracle. So we always think positive. We believe anything is possible.''
The family moved to Sydney last June after hearing about a doctor who was willing to trial a new MIBG radiation treatment, Miss Robb said.
''But we got news just before our trip that it didn't have any effect on her.
There were more little lesions that grew in her brain again.
So now, hopefully, this Friday we'll find a new clinical research treatment.''
A children's foundation in Sydney is supporting the couple, who gave up their jobs to care for Harmony.
''We have friends here, so we lean on them. They have children Harmony can mingle with. Some days are really good, other days she just wants to watch movies.''
Taranaki Daily News