I'd like to introduce you to a little girl from my home town of Wellington, NZ. I first heard about her three years ago through some friends who know her mum and dad, and her little brother Jonas. Her name is Hope. When her parents looked at her when she was born and gave her that name, they couldn't have known what a perfect name that was, and what meaning it would come to have later on in her short life.
You see, when Hope was 2 she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a particularly aggressive form of childhood cancer and on Monday at 4.45am, the day after her 5th birthday and in the arms of her mum and dad, Hope passed away.
Reading Hope's story over the last couple of years has touched my life in a profound way. Her parents Ali and Bec opened their hearts to the world through their Facebook Page with regular updates about her progress. As we read about Hope's treatments we worried for her and her family and urged her on. When photos were shared we smiled at Hope's beautiful grin and sense of mischief. When Hope was in remission we rejoiced. And when Hope relapsed, we wept.
Today Hope's family and friends bade her farewell but I know that her story isn't over yet. Her parents have often talked about the support of the Child Cancer Foundation throughout Hope's journey and now they would love to contribute to a new outdoor playground in her name. If you think you could help by making a donation the details are below:
Donations can be sent to the Child Cancer Foundation, P.O Box 7062, Newtown, Wellington 6242, New Zealand (cheques made out to Child Cancer Foundation). If you wish to give online you can do so here: Hope Osborne Society. If you would like your donation to go towards CCF for the playground equipment you can make a note in the comments field when you donate.
Rest in peace beautiful girl.