Sharlese and her family are spending time together at home. Photo: Supplied.

Rally hope for Sharlese

The family of a terminally ill young mum are forging ahead with plans for a fundraising rally – though it may be held in her memory instead.

Sharlese Turnbull-Tait, 36, from Picton, is battling bowel cancer which has spread throughout her body.

Her heartbroken family, who had to postpone the car show and rally during Covid Alert Level 4, fear the December event may be too late for Sharlese to enjoy.

But they are determined to hold the Rally for Hope to St Arnaud she has been looking forward to.

Her sister, Kelsie, says while Sharlese won’t be able to be there in person, she is hoping to watch a live stream of the day.

“Unfortunately Sharlese will be too ill to make it as she recently found out her lungs are collapsing due to tumours and she cannot have anymore, treatment but we are still going to do this either in her memory or for her to watch live.”

Sharlese has undergone several surgeries in Christchurch since her diagnosis two years ago, including a partial bowel removal.

Back home in Picton, Sharlese is now focusing on spending as much time as possible with her family, including Ellazae, 3, and Luka, 10.

Kelsie says the original plan was to raise money with the rally for the family to make memories.

Spreading awareness about the disease to other people is a priority too.

“We would love to raise enough money to hopefully create some amazing memories with her family and support the children and family as she falls more ill as she can no longer receive treatment.”

The mum of two saw her own doctor after developing severe stomach cramps in 2018.

But despite several visits over the next few years and a pelvic scan, Sharlese was told it was probably endometriosis – an inflammatory condition of the uterus.

Speaking to the Marlborough Weekly earlier this year, Sharlese says she had sought medical help several times.

“I went to my doctor so many times.”

“When I saw that doctor again after I’d been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer, he apologised and offered to pray for me.

“He said it never thought it could be bowel cancer as I was too young.

“I want everyone to know the signs and symptoms as age just doesn’t matter,” she says.

The car, bike show and rally will be held on 5 December. Between 9am and 12 noon, vehicles will be on show at Waterlea Racecourse by the McLauchlan Street entrance.

The display is open to the public and the rally starts at 11am, with participants encouraged to pack a picnic.

People then have the option of joining fellow rally goers later when the convoy returns to Blenheim.

Kelsi asks that people heading to the show please bring some cash for raffles and to donate to the cause.

To register your vehicle for the car and bike show, private message the Rally for Hope Facebook page or contact 021 2581213.

Possible bowel cancer symptoms and signs

  • Bleeding from the bottom (rectal bleeding)
  • Change of bowel motions/habits that come and go over several weeks.
  • Anaemia.
  • Severe persistent or periodic abdominal pain.
  • A lump or mass in the abdomen.
  • Tiredness and loss of weight for no obvious reason.
There is an increasing need for interpreters to help foreign patients navigate their health-care journey. Photo: Supplied.

Language barrier health warning

Demand for interpreters at Wairau Hospital is set to escalate as more migrants settle in Marlborough.

Health bosses are set to train extra staff over the next year to help combat potential language problems with patients.

And they are calling for people who speak a second language to consider offering their help.

Strategy, primary and community general manager Cathy O’Malley says Nelson Marlborough health expects interpreter costs to rise.

“The cost will increase over time as the non-English speaking community increases.

“Even as people develop English language skills, they may still need interpreters for healthcare consultations.

“We fully support ongoing use of interpreters for important healthcare conversations,” she says.

Nelson Marlborough Health have a duty of care to communicate with all patients in a way they understand.

Money has been set aside in the budget to cope with the increase in demand.

Figures from the Office of Ethnic Communities show 93 per cent of people living in Marlborough speak English, 2 per cent Māori and 8 per cent other languages.

The expected arrival of up to 100 Columbian refugees in April will not stretch current interpretation services, Cathy says.

“We are confident we will be able to manage the need for Spanish speaking interpreters.”

Patients have access to interpreters, on the phone, for more than 120 languages.

Face to face interpreters are available for several languages already but cost around $120 per hour.

But Cathy says additional language speakers will need to be trained over the next year.

“We have face to face interpreters for several languages, such as Spanish, available and will train additional language speakers as interpreters over the year.

“The demand for interpreter services will change over the next few years, so we aim to respond to demand as it changes.

“Any patient who requires an interpreter can ask for one,” Cathy says

Fully bilingual or multilingual hospital staff are used in some scenarios to help patients.

Cathy says it is better to bring in trained and skilled interpreters so current staff aren’t pulled away from their other jobs.

“Having an interpreter service on hand is also preferable to asking multilingual staff members to stop what they are doing to assist with another job.”

If there are people in the community who speak a second language and would like to offer their skills, they can contact Interpreting NZ on 0508 468 377.

MBC Falcons open with commanding victory

The Marlborough Boys’ College First XV opened their 2019 University of Canterbury championship campaign in emphatic style with a 52-8 win over Mid Canterbury Combined in Ashburton on Saturday.

The MBC side, fresh from a pre-season win over Wellington College, scored their first try in the opening minute and scored regularly throughout, picking up three tries in the first half and five in the second.

They led 19-8 at halftime, then shut the Mid Canterbury side out of the game in the second spell.

MBC head coach Matt MacDougall said that while his side’s effort “wasn’t pretty, we got the win, that’s the main thing”.

“It was quite an error-ridden game, we pushed a lot of passes … probably guilty of trying to play a little early without wearing them down.”

“We scored some lovely tries, it was just that in between those moments our decision-making wasn’t the best.

“A few cobwebs, as expected, but generally we were pretty happy.”

Pick of the MBC side were open side flanker Sky Boskett-Barnes, who was “outstanding”, scoring twice and linking superbly. Fullback Keelan Murrell was another to shine, coming into the backline well and also dotting down twice. Tighthead prop Monu Moli turned in his usual strong performance as did No 8 Andre Hebberd, who slotted into the front row at prop late in the piece.

Next up for MBC is a tougher challenge, hosting St Andrew’s College on Saturday. STAC opened their campaign with a 33-31 win over the highly-rated Nelson College side, making for an intriguing clash.

“[The STAC game] is just what our boys need,” said MacDougall. “It will be a humdinger of a hit-out – the lads know we will have a massive challenge on our hands this week.”

Scorers: MBC 52 (Sky Boskett-Barnes 2, Keelan Murrell 2, Ben O’Sullivan, Te Ariki Peipi, Olly Lawson, Clyde Paewai tries, Murrell 6 con) Mid Canterbury 8. HT 19-8.

Other results:

St Andrew’s College 33 Nelson College 31

St Bede’s College 47 Timaru BHS 5

Christchurch BHS 83 Roncalli Combined 0

Rangiora HS 15 Lincoln HS 0

St Thomas 43 Waimea Combined 12

Christs College 27 Shirley HS 15