In 2015, two-year-old Devyn Tregurtha, from Auckland was a happy and healthy child so when she had an extremely high temperature for two weeks straight, her mum Bianca started to worry.
Devyn was admitted to hospital where after receiving a bone marrow biopsy, it was discovered she had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
“I remember the day she was diagnosed so clearly. I felt like I was dreaming”
Devyn has recently completed her treatment for ALL. Her diagnosis has had a huge impact on the entire family over the last two years. Bianca needed to leave her job in order to care for Devyn, and her 5-year-old sister Luca became anxious that she would contract leukaemia like her sister.
The family were supported by Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand who were there to offer support and practical assistance. Luca attended LBC’s support group for siblings or children of blood cancer patients to meet other youngsters who were experiencing similar issues.
Like the Tregurtha’s, 6 New Zealanders receive the news every day that they have a blood cancer.
To help raise awareness of these diseases – leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand are running a campaign over Blood Cancer Awareness Week (6 – 12 November) called ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’.
The digital campaign features the ‘Blood Cancer Creatures’ who represent the signs and symptoms of blood cancer – swollen lymph nodes, persistent infections, easy bruising and constant fatigue.
It encourages as many Kiwis as possible to learn and recognise the symptoms of blood cancers, as in some cases early detection can lead to more effective treatment of these diseases.
This year, LBC have enlisted the help of well-known Kiwis and social influencers including Breakfast host Hilary Barry and Auckland MP Nikki Kaye to help. They will be posting photos throughout the week featuring cameo appearances by the creatures.
LBC are also encouraging people to share the message with their friends by: