Cycling for disorder awareness
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.