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re­ceived the news she was dread­ing: the can­cer had re­turned and much faster than sur­geons ex­pected. ‘‘I felt ev­ery­thing at once. Anger, frus­tra­tion, sad­ness. But then I re­alised I had to be strong for Davin, he’s only nine so I had to think about mov­ing for­ward.’’

She de­cided to do ev­ery­thing she could to get ‘‘a mir­a­cle’’ – a new Hous­ing NZ house. She tried ev­ery av­enue, but it was ap­proach­ing lo­cal MP Deb­o­rah Rus­sell that got the job done. CHRIS MCKEEN/STUFF

Within a fort­night of get­ting help from Rus­sell, she was told a new home would be hers by Christ­mas. ‘‘It was such ex­cit­ing news to know we were go­ing to be in a new home at Christ­mas.’’

Daph­newas an opera singer who once per­formed for Prince Charles – and still finds so­lace in singing. ‘‘It’s lit­tle things like that, be­ing able to get lost in a song, which makes you re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate and cher­ish­what God pro­vides.’’

The fam­ily move into the new two-bed­room, ground floor apart­ment a few days be­fore De­cem­ber 25. It will be dressed with a Christ­mas tree – the only thing Davin wanted for Christ­mas – and presents from Hous­ingNZ.

The new home is one of 460 new dwellings go­ing up in the New Lynn elec­torate over the next three years, and is just 50 me­tres from Davin’s school, where he ex­cels in art and sport.

‘‘It’s awe­some,’’ said Davin of the new home. ‘‘It doesn’t have any mould and I can walk to school.’’

Daphne’s sis­ter Jan­icewill be­come Davin’s guardian. ‘‘I’m so blessed to have my sis­ter, I don’t know what­would have hap­pened with­out her,’’ she said.

‘‘I want to grow old and see my son make a de­cent life for him­self, find aw­ife and have a fam­ily of his own. Un­for­tu­nately the cir­cum­stances are against me so I have to take each day as a gift.’’

MP Deb­o­rah Rus­sell, above right, helped Daphne Collins and son Davin, 9, get a new home.

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