Stories by region
Wish comes true for young sisters
As you may have read in a recent story from Bike Wise, MWH successfully won first place in the 500+ category of the 2012 Bike Wise Challenge. One hundred and sixty-five participants from MWH branches nationwide cycled 18,641 kilometres in 1,437 rides during February. They calculated this was the equivalent of cycling from Cape Reinga to the Bluff nine times! Combined, they burnt 335,538 calories and saved 4,492 kilograms of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere.
MWH have a global purpose –‘building a better world’ – and this was the motivation behind donating their prize to a more worthy cause. Bike Wise had planned to give MWH a $250 supermarket voucher to use toward a morning tea shout. However, coordinator Kasey Halford suggested to her team that they ask Bike Wise for an Avanti voucher to the same value so they could donate it to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation was then able to buy new bikes for two young sisters – Starr (5) and Rangimaria (6). The girls, along with their older sister Huia, suffer from Marfan syndrome, which is caused by a genetic defect that affects the eyes, skin, and skeletal and cardiovascular systems. The syndrome means the girls grow much faster than is usual, which puts stress on organs such as the heart. In time, their arms, legs, and fingers will be disproportionately long. The hereditary disorder has claimed the lives of their grandfather and their mother, Isabelle, who was only 30 years old.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation has never before been able to help a single family where three siblings have a progressive terminal illness. With help from the local Z Energy, and the Avanti voucher from MWH, the sisters spent the day being treated like princesses. Huia was given a day of pampering and shopping in a limo, while the younger girls were thrown a fairy princess party where they received their new bikes.
Ms Halford was able to attend the party to present the bikes on behalf of MWH, and said it was an incredibly moving experience. “It was an amazing reward for all those hours we spend pedalling during Bike Wise month. I’m sure that next year our people will be even more motivated to compete, knowing that their efforts could make such a different to young lives”.
MWH strongly support cycling and have recently won the CAN 2011 Best Cycle Facility Project award for the shared walking and cycle paths that have been developed around the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.
Thank you to the MWH Bike Wise Challenge team for your efforts and generosity, and for providing us with this heart-warming story.