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Relay a dying wish

Terri-Lee Governor-Wiremu and her husband Joe Wiremu married 10 days before she died after a six-year battle of cancer. PHOTO/KIRI RIWAI-COUCH PHOTOGRAPHY

Terri-Lee Governor-Wiremu’s dying wish was granted when she married long-time partner Joe Wiremu on September 30, 2017.

Next month, another wish will be fulfilled when a team of her friends and family take part in the Wairarapa Relay for Life in her memory.

Terri-Lee was 34 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She completed all her treatments, but the cancer returned four years later in 2015 and eventually she became terminally ill.

Terri-Lee Governor-Wiremu lost her cancer battle in 2017.

The Wairarapa community rallied to fundraise for the wedding, and Terri-Lee lost her cancer battle 10 days after the ceremony.

The Whakawhanaungatanga team of early childhood teachers are relaying in memory of Terri-Lee – Terri Lee herself took part in several Relays for Life, and before she died she had asked her mates to carry on this year
without her.

Whakawhanaungatanga, which means relationships formed with a common purpose, is a team of 20 friends and family, including Terri-Lee’s husband and children.

Team leader Kirstan Grey, said Terri-Lee was always positive and strong.

“She had a humungous heart.

“Terri-Lee was an all-round loved person, well known for involvement in kapa haka and early childhood education and a huge inspiration to all of us.

“At the last Relay for Life she had radiotherapy treatment on the Friday and turned up to relay with us the next day and kept going all through the night.

“When she knew she was terminal she asked me to organise a team for the next event and it was to be called Whakawhanaungatanga, which means relationships formed through shared experiences, providing people with a sense of belonging by strengthening each member of the group working together for a purpose.

Kirstan said Terri-Lee had asked them to relay for all those who have passed away – but she had also asked them to dress as butterflies as they relayed, so the team is going all out to fulfil her wish with butterfly backdrops and heavenly gardens.

“It’s a huge tribute to her and it will all be revealed at the event so it’s more exciting,” Kirstan said.

“We want everyone touched by her to come and see what we have done in her honour.

“It will be her vision come to life.”

Team Whakawhanaungatanga, has started fundraising with housie evenings held at the Masterton Trust Lands Trust Education Centre, Dixon St, every Friday night, and Saturday, February 23 at the Spot.

The housie organiser has donated eight sessions to support Relay for Life.

MTF Finance has also supported the team by donating money and the marquee for the set-up.

Family, friends, and colleagues have sponsored team members on their relay, and there will be a car boot sale on February 24.

Money raised stays in Wairarapa to support the Cancer Society who work with families and people affected by cancer.

2019 Relay for Life

  • Relay for Life, one of Wairarapa’s biggest charity events, takes place at Clareville Showgrounds from March 16-17.
  • Hundreds of people will be participating in the Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, which involves an 18-hour relay around the circuit.
  • To donate to help fight the battle for cancer sufferers and survivors, visit wairarapa.relayforlife.org.nz/event/RelayForLife-Wairarapa-2019/sponsor_a_friend.
  • To enter a team, contact the Wairarapa Cancer Society on 06 378 8039 or online at www.relayforlife.org.nz


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