By Rachel Tiffen
As the All Blacks prepare for the Rugby World Cup finals and politicians for the election, a Wellington girl is facing something that puts both in perspective.
Cancer has spread to her lungs and is inoperable, so she is getting help from both camps to fulfil a dream.
Fourteen-year-old Pariss Patelesio is living every day to the full.
“What I’ve noticed after I got sick is that people take life for granted,” says Ms Patelesio. “Sometimes I forget I’ve got cancer because I’m having such a good time with my family.”
Since being diagnosed with knee cancer last year she has spent much of her young life in hospital. In July surgeons removed the tumour and rebuilt her knee. Lesions in her lungs were wiped out with chemotherapy.
But they came back and were beyond repair.
On getting the bad news Pariss expressed a dream. For the whole family, all seven of them, to go on holiday to Brisbane for precious time with relatives and “to go on the theme parks, that will be really nice”.
But money is tight so Pariss's uncle Sam Samuelu, who works for parliament security, asked around for help.
Help that his mates in the parliamentary rugby team were only too happy to give.
“It kind of spread like wildfire, everyone wants to help,” says Mr Samuelu.
The team has made a donation and signed a jersey to be auctioned.
The All Blacks have also chipped in with a signed jersey for auction.
Which just leaves the Patelesio’s to work on their scrum technique.