Mun­rith has rea­son to smile

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By William Mace

Teenager Mun­rith Singh tries to fo­cus on the pos­i­tive things in life.

Now thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foun­da­tion the 17-year-old from Flat Bush has a few more to smile about.

Her new cross-trainer ma­chine, ex­er­cy­cle and weight set would look more at home in a gym but Mun­rith’s wish was to bring the gym to her home – and that’s what she got.

She wanted the equip­ment to build strength and stamina be­cause her con­di­tion makes her tire eas­ily.

The foun­da­tion is a char­ity that grants wishes for chil­dren aged three to 18 with life-threat­en­ing ill­nesses.

It aims to pro­vide mem­o­ries of joy and laugh­ter for chil­dren dur­ing an oth­er­wise painful ex­pe­ri­ence.

At 14, Mun­rith was di­ag­nosed with a cran­io­pharyn­gioma, a be­nign brain tu­mour that was af­fect­ing the pi­tu­itary gland near her brain­stem.

She had two op­er­a­tions to re­move the tu­mour and in­stall a tube to drain ex­cess fluid from her brain to her stom­ach and she also un­der­went a course of ra­di­a­tion.

Pains and headaches are a con­stant com­pan­ion and the sever­ity of it is un­pre­dictable. But Mun­rith says there are many oth­ers worse off.

“When you go into hospi­tal and see chil­dren younger than you and some not as lucky as you, you tend to pick up the pos­i­tives rather than the neg­a­tives and that’s what keeps you go­ing.”

Mun­rith has learnt to take it all in her stride and she hopes her new home gym will help her get over the lin­ger­ing ef­fects of her con­di­tion.

“It’s re­ally hard to pick your wish, you have to pick the best one. So I thought of what would be good for me in terms of how I could im­prove my health.”

She says the only ex­er­cise she gets is tak­ing her dog Jocko for a walk and win­ter might make that more dif­fi­cult.

Af­ter three years of home school­ing af­ter her op­er­a­tion in 2004 she is now tak­ing foun­da­tion stud­ies at univer­sity and wants to give it ev­ery­thing.

“I tend to tire re­ally quickly. When I started univer­sity I was re­ally tired but af­ter a while it got bet­ter. I want to start build­ing up my stamina and that will make me feel health­ier.”

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