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Warriors Step Out to Support Young Child with Cancer

Warriors Step Out for Odd Shoe Day and Put a Smile on Young Cancer Child’s Face

27 August 2013

In the last few years eight-year-old Ashdyn Mitchell hasn’t had much to smile about. The Auckland youngster, diagnosed with Neuroblastoma five years ago, has come through years of intensive treatment and long periods in hospital.

But he jumped at the chance when his father took him to rub shoulders with some of the Warriors this week who showed their support for Camp Quality NZ and its Odd Shoe Day national awareness campaign on September 13.

Established in New Zealand 27 years ago, Camp Quality is dedicated to bringing fun, hope and happiness to children aged 5-16 living with cancer. Camp Quality provides a range of activities for more than 300 youngsters across five regions including week-long summer camps, family days, reunions and social occasions as well as year round support for their families.

Neuroblastoma is a disease in which malignant cancer cells form in nerve tissue, usually of the adrenal glands, and can spread to other parts of the body. Treatment usually involves one or all of the following - Chemotherapy, Stem Cell Transplant and Radiation. Ashdyn was almost 3 when he was found to have a large tumour wrapped around his spleen and liver. His condition deteriorated to Stage 4 Neuroblastoma and he required all three forms of treatment.

“He is a walking miracle and we are very grateful to all the doctors and nursing staff for their care and attention,” says his father, Joe. “And, to the Camp Quality people who do so much to break down the madness parents with young kids with cancer go through.”

Joe, a Warriors supporter “since the year dot” who actually played the game as a youngster and briefly at senior level at Mt Wellington with former Warriors Ruben Wiki and Richie Barnett, says “whenever Ashdyn is up to it, we go to every Warriors game at Mt Smart.”

Camp Quality NZ chairman Gary Troup says the charity is very grateful for the support it receives from the NZ Warriors. Leading the Warriors contingent at the Odd Shoe Day meet and greet at Mt Smart was former Kiwi and Warriors legend, Stacey Jones, currently the Warriors Recruitment and Pathways coach and a Camp Quality Ambassador.

Camp Quality is a not-for profit volunteer organisation which sees Odd Shoe Day as a novel and fun way to make more New Zealanders aware of the work the organisation does in the community. Asking people young and old to wear shoes that don’t match on Odd Shoe Day, September 13, mirrors that ideal.

According to Child Cancer statistics around 150 young New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer each year. Camp Quality passionately believes in the power of fun to help these children and their families overcome the challenges cancer brings.

Donations to Camp Quality NZ can be made via 0800 Camp Quality (0800 226778), or at any BNZ branch.


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