Cy­cling for dis­or­der aware­ness

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Nine­teen ex­tended Flavall fam­ily mem­bers were out in force dur­ing the re­cent Lake Taupo Cy­cle Chal­lenge to raise aware­ness of platelet dis­or­ders

Toko­roa based grand­par­ents Rob and Nancy, their chil­dren Monique, Ros­alie, Brad and his wife Vicki, aunts, un­cles, cousins, and close friends all took part in the 40th an­niver­sary of the cy­cling chal­lenge, do­ing var­i­ous dis­tances.

Nancy, who has been as­so­ci­ated with the South Waikato district for 46 years, said the de­ci­sion to take part came af­ter their grand­son Thomas was di­ag­nosed with the platelet dis­or­der Idio­pathic throm­bo­cy­topenic pur­pura (ITP) two years ago- a con­di­tion which runs through four gen­er­a­tions of the Flavall fam­ily.

The bleed­ing dis­or­der means the im­mune sys­tem de­stroys platelets which are nec­es­sary for nor­mal blood clot­ting and there­fore those af­fected must lead care­ful lives and avoid the likes of con­tact sports to mit­i­gate the risk of bruis­ing.

In or­der to make it more widely recog­nised the idea of the cy­cle chal­lenge was born and a Pedalling4 Platelets fundrais­ing web­site was set up through Leukaemia and Blood Can­cer New Zealand.

‘‘Sev­eral mem­bers have rid­den in past years but not to­gether as a fam­ily fundrais­ing group like this. If two years ago fam­ily were asked to par­tic­i­pate the answers would have been un­likely, not fit enough, or sim­i­lar but nine­teen mem­bers of the ex­tended Flavall fam­ily and friends gath­ered to­gether from around New Zealand, proudly com­plet­ing their spec­i­fied dis­tances,’’ she said.

The team rid­ing shirts clearly showed their cho­sen focus ‘‘Ped­alling for Platelets’’.

She said over eight months of train­ing paid off on the day.

‘‘This was a huge suc­cess for the fam­ily, sup­port­ing each other on the day and at a fam­ily barbecue break­fast the fol­low­ing morn­ing. An emo­tional bond­ing time,’’ she said.

‘‘Fam­ily, friends and col­leagues of all par­tic­i­pants wished us well. It has been a great emo­tional feel­ing to sup­port each other.’’

She said the fam­ily had a tar­get of rais­ing $10,000 for the cause which they were close to achiev­ing and thanked the var­i­ous in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses that helped them take part.

‘‘Fam­ily have talked about cy­cling in other events but noth­ing def­i­nite at this stage,’’ Nancy said.

‘‘When we re­alised we were stuck here and started to see ev­ery­thing freeze we started com­plain­ing about hav­ing no heat source or in­su­la­tion but the prop­erty man­ager kept ig­nor­ing us,’’ he said.

Af­ter re­peated at­tempts to have the prop­erty brought up to a liv­able standard, out of protest he stopped pay­ing rent.

‘‘The owner is now su­ing the [for­mer prop­erty man­ager] for that three years rent,’’ he said.

In April 2015 Ray White Toko­roa took over man­age­ment but Tonga-awhikau said things still haven’t im­proved.

‘‘They have had it for 18 months now. They have come in and taken pho­tos but they do noth­ing with the ev­i­dence they have taken,’’ he said.

Ray White’s Jenny Lam­ber­ton said due to Tonga-awhikau still re­sid­ing at the ad­dress she was ‘‘not at lib­erty to dis­cuss the specifics of the case’’.

‘‘We can con­firm though that the Ten­ancy Tri­bunal has awarded us a ‘Ter­mi­na­tion of Ten­ancy’ or­der. The courts do not pro­vide such or­ders with­out just cause,’’ she said.

Tonga-awhikau said the prop­erty man­agers had tried to make him feel sorry for the land­lord be­cause he couldn’t af­ford to fix the house ‘‘but he is not sup­posed to rent a house in this con­di­tion,’’ he said.

‘‘It is a nice house if they fix it up and I’d be happy to pay, I just don’t think it’s fair in its cur­rent con­di­tion,’’ he said.

Sev­eral Ten­ancy Tri­bunal hear­ings later Tonga-awhikau has been of­fi­cially evicted.


The Flavall fam­ily and friends dur­ing the Lake Taupo Cy­cle Chal­lenge.

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