The Stacey Hansen Story (as written by Stacey)

Christchurch is approx 450 km from my home in Cromwell, and almost 600km away from my support crew in Southland.  The idea of needing to stay in Christchurch for 100 days was daunting to say the least.

Surviving a stem cell transplant was a big enough challenge without the added stresses of needing to be so far from home. I am incredibly grateful for the expertise, knowledge, research and amazing team that helped me get through this life saving procedure. And taking in to account the specialist equipment and personnel involved, I can appreciate why I needed to be in a larger centre such as Christchurch.

However, after spending the previous six months going through chemo in Dunedin – my income had long ago dried up – I’m sure I don’t need to explain the financial stresses of spending a year where your “job” is fighting & surviving – it pays in other ways – they’re just not visible in your bank account.

Christchurch was just the next step for me, hopefully the final stage in my fight. Rānui House was the perfect place to support my family and I as we tackled these 100 days. To say it is a “home away from home” seems such a  cliché.  But it really was. The proximity to the hospital made it so much easier for my support crew to be there for me when I needed them, and allowed them to have what they needed to keep themselves well also.

It was an easy walkable distance to and from the hospital which made it so much easier on them leaving me, and was also a life saver when I was allowed to come and go from the hospital. It just wouldn’t have been as easy for any of us in that time if we needed to travel any further. The local cafés were a respite on some long days and so easy to get to, and the Hagley Park trails were well utilised as we appreciated nature in the middle of a busy City.

The kind gestures of the Rānui community brightened some tough days. The people at Rānui House are a special group, they are the heart of the facility. You often see quotes talking about everyone you see is fighting a battle you may not know about etc but this is never truer than when you’re staying in a place like this. And the staff and community groups that support Rānui House live and breathe kindness and compassion. The facilities are 5 star, the location couldn’t be better, but the people that support families through the fight of their lives really make it the extremely special place it is.

Stacey Hansen, her whānau and support crew stayed at Rānui House in 2021 and 2022 for 88 nights.