Coun­try stars shine for Kid­ney Kids

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

De­spite bat­tling con­stant pain, Meoghan Craig is de­ter­mined to live life to the fullest.

The 13-year-old was di­ag­nosed with kid­ney prob­lems as a baby, which cause re­cur­ring in­fec­tions and un­re­lent­ing back pain as well as a host of other prob­lems.

‘‘Be­cause she is al­ways in pain any small thing hurts her more than it nor­mally would for any other per­son,’’ her mother Julie says.

Her con­di­tion means she some­times misses out on reg­u­lar teenage ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘‘Meoghan’s cup is al­ways half full and she wants to get out there but some­times we have to keep her from do­ing things just be­cause we know the pain will be so bad.’’

The teenager avoids pre­scribed med­i­ca­tion be­cause of the side ef­fects, and in­stead ‘‘takes some Panadol and just pushes on through’’.

For­tu­nately for Meoghan, there is an­other out­let for her en­thu­si­as­tic spirit.

Char­ity Kid­ney Kids holds an­nual camps for young­sters af­fected by kid­ney dis­or­ders.

‘‘They have ex­pe­ri­ences I wouldn’t nor­mally be able to do, like kayak­ing, archery and they have a mas­sive fly­ing fox,’’ the Mt Al­bert res­i­dent says.

Not only does she get to in­dulge in fun ac­tiv­i­ties, but be­ing around other kids with sim­i­lar af­flic­tions helps put her dis­or­der in per­spec­tive.

‘‘When I go to the camps I feel lucky that my con­di­tion is so mild,’’ she says.

Mrs Craig says the char­ity not only helps her daugh­ter, but the whole fam­ily feel sup­ported.

‘‘When Meoghan goes to camp we all get some respite,’’ she says.

To raise money to con­tinue sup­port­ing chil­dren and their fam­i­lies Kid­ney Kids is hold­ing a one-night-only coun­try mu­sic con­cert at the Bruce Ma­son Cen­tre.

Coun­try mu­sic stars Gray Bartlett, Bren­dan Dugan, Dennis Marsh, Jodi Vaughan and Paul Walden are ap­pear­ing.

‘‘My lead gui­tarist has got a wife with kid­ney prob­lems . . . and so that band all jumped in to get in­volved to help,’’ plat­inum award win­ning mu­si­cian Dennis Marsh says.

‘‘If I can do any­thing to help kids, I’ll do it,’’ he says.

Mr Marsh has been in the mu­sic busi­ness for more than 40 years and has an in­cred­i­ble discog­ra­phy of more than 20 al­bums un­der his belt.

He may be best known for his ren­di­tion of How Great Thou Art and has re­cently had his like­ness cap­tured on a stamp on Nor­folk Is­land.

Kid­ney Kids act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Keith Macken­zie says it is grate­ful the coun­try stars have given up their time to per­form and help raise funds.

‘‘Most New Zealan­ders don’t re­alise how preva­lent kid­ney dis­ease is among chil­dren and how quickly it can sneak up on fam­i­lies.’’

The char­ity sup­ports about 1000 Kiwi kids who have kid­ney dis­ease or uri­nary tract dis­or­ders.

The money raised will help the Kid­ney Kids team travel to sup­port more fam­i­lies out­side of Auck­land.

The True Leg­ends con­cert is on Sun­day from 7pm at the Bruce Ma­son Cen­tre in Taka­puna.

Photo: DANIELLE STREET

True leg­ends: Coun­try mu­sic star Dennis Marsh with Meoghan Craig are both look­ing for­ward to Kid­ney Kids’ True Le­gend con­cert on Sun­day. Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to watch Dennis Marsh per­form­ing

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