'using her own experience of loss to help others' Nic Russell founder of Kenzie's Gift
Nic reflects on the start of Kenzie’s Gift in 2006, founded with the intent of providing appropriate and research-based psychosocial support for children experiencing grief and loss within the family.
The charity is named after her daughter Kenzie who at only two was diagnosed with a paraspinal cancerous tumour. Although Kenzie won her battle with cancer, the prolonged and aggressive medical treatment was more than her small body could take. Kenzie died on the 29th of December 2005. Through this tragedy came the hope for families that is Kenzie’s Gift.
Since the establishment of Kenzie’s Gift, the charity has helped over 200 families through more than 2000 psychotherapy sessions and distributed over a 1,000 copies of their printed resource packs, the My Journey Kit and Memories Are Forever.
Nic lives in Auckland New Zealand although she is originally from Northern Ireland and you will hear that she has not lost any of her accent. In this podcast she reflects on Kenzie's life as well as her own health challenges with breast cancer, a degenerative condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as well as parkinsons disease (diagnosed at age 46).
Nic also talks about her love for comedy (in particular Billy Connelly), her passion for sport and how she finds swimming and being by the seaside hugely therapeutic.