Waiheke – a great place to live. And die.
By Bill Taylor
Bill Taylor recently had a stay in one of our TimeOut houses on Waiheke Island. The overall experience and support of different organisations really made the stay a special one for him and his family.
Check out the article at the Waiheke Weekender or read it below.
Charity begins at home and charity is certainly alive and well on Waiheke.
I’ve lived on the island for only two years but have been astounded by the generosity of the people here.
Earlier this year I was diagnosed with un-treatable lung cancer and given six or seven months to live. I have since been given a slight reprieve and the latest is that I still have another six or seven months.
I was referred to the excellent Waiheke Hospice Homecare service and manager Mags McLeod. She has provided terrific support for me over the past few months and practical help in organising a hospital bed and special mattress.
Through Mags, I was put in touch with TimeOut Charity, a non-for-profit organisation providing people with life-threatening illnesses access to holiday homes and baches around New Zealand.
TimeOut provides a national network of holiday homes at no cost to these families and now has, at last count, more than 80 homes throughout New Zealand, three on Waiheke.
The charity was started in 2016 by Ronda Amende who was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2013 and given 12 months to live. She went through three years of chemotherapy and went into remission.
In the early stages, Ronda and her family of five had a tough time coming to grips with the illness and the fact that she might only have one more year to live. A work colleague offered Ronda and her family their holiday home on the hills around Lake Taupo. This time away was extremely valuable for Ronda and family and made a big difference. This gave her the idea of forming TimeOut.
Through TimeOut, my family and I were given a luxurious house for a recent weekend. It was on the hills in Surfdale and had a great view. Stay Waiheke, which looks after the house, generously provided free linen for us.
An the hospice service came up trumps again when Mags organised a free photo shoot of my family and me by top Waiheke photographer Peter Rees.Â
She also organised two of her hospice volunteers to deliver some great food they had made for us. We were welcomed with a delicious quiche and still-warm scones which disappeared almost instantly. The second volunteer brought another lovely quiche and an array of salad vegetables.
I am a little fanatical about poetry and was able to give a poetry reading at the excellent Waiheke Library for my family and friends.
My family and I had a wonderful weekend and all because of the wonderful generosity of Waiheke.
Over the past weeks I have been asked to speak publicly, first at a fundraiser for where I live, the Living Waters Hope Centre in Surfdale and later at the Housing Hui at the Artworks Theatre. At both events I conculded with this heartfelt statement: Waiheke – a great place to live. And a great place to die.