Zephy’s Gold Coast Adventure: A Journey of Dreams and Friendship

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The experience of a lifetime

CRC - Australia Trip feeding kangaroos

Zephy lives the dream on the Gold Coast

In our December blog we shared our plans to send Zephy on the trip of a lifetime to the Gold Coast after a devastating cancer diagnosis. Zephy put a great deal of thought into creating his bucket list, which included everything from beers and burgers to rhinos and rollercoasters!

In February it was so exciting for the CRC whānau to watch him fulfil his dreams across the ditch – the culmination of a mammoth fundraising effort, plus a lot of planning and organisation.

On 6 February, with his flatmates waving as the plane took off, Zephy flew to the Gold Coast with our deputy general manager, Shaun McNicol. He was bursting with excitement! “If he beamed any more his face might split in two”, says general manager, Annie McNicol.

CRC - Australia Trip

With such excitement in the lead-up to the adventure, the 3-hour, 40-minute flight proved a test of patience. Countless times Shaun fielded the question, “Are we there yet?”

During four fun (and very hot – approaching 40-deg) days on the Gold Coast, Zephy visited Sea World where he got to pat a sting ray, spent time soaking up the sun at the beach, shopped at his favourite store Culture Kings, had a burger from Wahlburgers, enjoyed a beer… Exploring Australia Zoo was a highlight. Zephy patted DJ, the white rhino, who weighs in at 2.2 tonnes, and got to watch Steve Irwin’s son Robert feed the huge gators. In terms of high points, the rollercoaster at Movie World provided an exhilarating and unforgettable ride!

CRC - Australia Trip Culture Kings
CRC - Australia Trip

“These are memories Zephy will have for as long as he is with us,” says Annie. For all the team at CRC it’s such a privilege to be part of Zephy’s adventure, just as it is a privilege to be part of the journeys of every one of our clients. “CRC is all about giving people the opportunity to have a voice to lead their best life and to live their dreams and aspirations,” says Annie. Whatever their past, whatever their challenges, whatever their passions.

We want to thank all the team at CRC for their support in making this happen for Zephy, and to everyone in the community who supported our fundraising efforts. We want to thank Shaun especially. It’s a special experience for Shaun, but it’s no small undertaking being Zephy’s sole companion and managing his complex needs on such an action-packed trip.

Each day they were away, Shaun shared snippets of their adventures with all the whānau back home on the CRC Facebook page. Worth more than words, it’s that beaming smile on Zephy’s face in EVERY picture that says it all.

A great friendship with Shaun. So many people supporting him back home. The adventure of a lifetime. Feeling awesome!

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