A toast for transplant patient


TOASTMASTER friends of Will Blakeway have put together an event to honour their mate and support his fight against cancer.

“Get Inspired” is a TED Talk- type event that will bring six speakers together at Whakatane’s Liberty Centre on April 26 for an evening of entertainment and inspiration.

The organisers are promising a family-friendly night to remember with each of the six Eastern Bay personalities having 10 minutes to talk about their respective passions in business, sport, art and fundraising.

The six speakers are artist Arohanoa Mathew, top roller derby player Fiona Dominick, entrepreneur Briton Williams, mortgage broker and musical theatre extraordinaire Trish Marsden, steampunkers Marie Dixon and Owen Vaughan, who recently completed a walk of New Zealand raising runds for the Leukaemia Blood Cancer Foundation.

All money raised from the evening will go towards Will and his family. Will was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of blood cancer called Mantle Cell Lymphoma in 2016.

His first treatment was successful, but he relapsed in July last year. Unfortunately, the cancer did not respond to the chemotherapy available and he needed another form of chemotherapy treatment, which was non-government funded.

Will needed this treatment to be able to have an allogeneic bone marrow transplant for a new immune system, which is his only chance of survival. This was successful, and Auckland Hospital admitted Will in January for the transplant, with his donor coming from Germany.

He was in Auckland Hospital for seven weeks and will be a day patient for seven to nine weeks, followed by recovery at home. He has been told to expect to be “out of commission” for at least eight to 12 months following his transplant.

Tickets for this event are $20 each and are available from The Good Life, LJ Hooker and from Radio 1XX. Any queries please contact Lorraine on 021 0584810.