Time for the princess and the fairy to meet
"I am going to meet a princess," 6-year-old Bailey Taylor says with a grin.
That's who the Duchess of Cambridge is in her eyes and she will be rubbing shoulders with her next Saturday when she visits the children's hospice, Rainbow Place.
Actually, if Bailey has her way, they will be playing in the playhouse and maybe eating some cake, too.
Catherine is a strong supporter of children's hospices and palliative care, and royal patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices.
Next Saturday, during a tour of Hamilton's Rainbow Place, she will have a chance to meet several children who benefit from the facility, then join the annual Gallagher Children's Party.
Bailey will be in one of the Rainbow Place rooms with her counsellor, so she will have the chance to meet the duchess with few others around.
Bailey's association with the hospice is through her mother, Jennifer Doolabh, who has terminal breast cancer which has spread through her body.
Hospice staff are working with Bailey and her brother to prepare them for life without their mother.
At the moment, though, Bailey has got her "princess" on the brain - even though she thinks she might be coming "next year".
"She is going to be excited to meet me, I think," she said. "I think of how she's going to meet me and how she's going to be. I think I'm going to be excited, too."
She expects Catherine to arrive in a princess dress, and plans to match her in a pink fairy ensemble of her own.
And when told the duchess was from England she had a ready response - that's where her "Nonna" is from, where her baby brother would be going soon.
Because there is an extra factor in the story of Bailey and her family. Doolabh fell pregnant last year - despite thinking it wasn't possible - and stopped her treatment until she gave birth to Matthias on December 23.
Her mother-in-law came over from England to be his primary carer but her visa ran out earlier this week, so she has to return to renew it and will take Matthias with her.
Bailey's meeting with Catherine will be a bright spot in a tough time.
Every year Hospice Waikato has a shortfall and must look to the community to fill it. This year, $2 million is needed to keep providing free care for people who are dying or for families coping with the loss of a loved one. Services offered by the independent charitable trust include counselling, art therapy, in-home hospice care and emotional support. On April 21, the hospice launches its first public appeal in six years to help make up the amount. To donate, visit hospicewaikato.org.nz or via Westpac bank account 03 1555 0091553 00
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