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Dream of daughter walking inspires Taranaki Wero stop smoking team
A New Plymouth mother hopes a Tui Ora quit smoking programme will help her kick the habit – and raise funds to enable her toddler daughter to walk.
Stacey Millen is putting together a team for the Wero challenge, which sees groups of people quitting together over 12 weeks. It starts in January and runs through to March.
The crew of five includes three strangers inspired by Stacey's high profile story, which ran in the Taranaki Daily News on December 29.
Daughter Elizabeth, 3, has cerebral palsy and needs $120,000 for an operation in the USA to help her walk unaided. The fundraising project called Elizabubble is a massive undertaking for the family – everything from pub quizzes and sausage sizzles to fundraising applications and creating a Give a Little page is being used to build the cause.
Signing up to the Wero challenge with a crew of people means they could win up to $3500.
Stacey started smoking as a teenage 15 years ago, quit while she was pregnant, and resumed again when Elizabeth was placed in the neo-natal unit. This time however the motivation is even stronger.
"Elizabeth is old enough so that now she says 'Mum is going outside for a coffee and a smoke'. I don't want my kids to think of me like that."
While she's aware that her Wero team will be one of 10 competing for the money she's not deterred. "For the opportunity to gain some funds, I'm fully prepared to take the chance."
Even if the crew doesn't gain the cash they will work together to kick the habit, upping their chances of staying smokefree.
Tui Ora Health Promoter Carla Adlam says the WERO challenge is a great opportunity for community groups to raise extra funds and for individuals to gain support to quit smoking. "Having support from our service has proven to be more effective than going it alone."
By the end of this week Carla expects to have about 50 individuals or 10 teams registered for the challenge.
The $3500 prize money can only be awarded to a registered New Zealand charity or community group.
Tui Ora has a Aukati Kaipaipa quit smoking programme and offers free, mobile, individual or group support to smokers. It's also offering opportunities for WERO crews to win individual cash prizes.
Stacey says an operation in the USA, called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, performed by a neurosurgeon will enable her daughter to walk independently. The procedure and six months of physiotherapy will cost $120,000. Other Kiwi children have seen marked improvement in their quality of life since having the operation. For further information about Elizabubble see https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/legsforelizabubble.
For information about WERO see the website www.wero.me
For further information about Taranaki Wero contact: Carla Adlam, Health Promoter, firstname.lastname@example.org, 06 759 4064 ext 6035 or 027 7518689