ASB Blog

ASB and Starship: You’d Do Anything For Your Kids

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“Any parent would say the same thing – we’d all do anything to keep our kids safe and happy. When Issy was very sick it put my day to day worries into perspective. Family, good health and making the most of every day are truly THE most important things in life.”

Jodie Bakewell-White understands what it means to do anything for your kids, donating one third of her liver to save the life of her daughter Issy.

Nine weeks after Issy was born, she was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia – a rare liver disease that affects a handful of babies in New Zealand every year. After struggling with the disease and being in and out of Starship throughout 2009, the family were told that Issy would need a liver transplant to survive.

As a family, they understood that if one of them could be a live donor, it would mean not having to wait on the list – and after tests were done, Issy’s mother Jodie was a match. The amazing transplant surgeons at Auckland Hospital were able to transplant one third of Jodie’s liver to her daughter, and the incredibly supportive Starship team of paediatric gastroenterologists, nurse specialists and ward staff all worked tirelessly to aid in their recovery.

With the support of her husband Brett, their parents, as well as the incredible team at Starship, the Bakewell-White family were in the best hands possible.

More than seven years on, Issy enjoys all the things that Kiwi kids love. While she still lives as a post-transplant patient and takes anti-rejection medication every day; she goes to school, loves dancing, boogie boarding at the beach and playing with her sister Anna – especially with their cat Morgan :) 

Every family’s journey is different, and they wanted to share their story to offer support for others going through difficult times. As Jodie mentions, “strength is found in many different ways and when faced with caring for a sick child, all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep going.”

Their story is one of many that Starship has been a part of for Kiwi families and to mark their 25th birthday, ASB is helping to raise money for an upgrade to the children’s emergency department. Kiwis can help raise money for the upgrade by texting ‘Starship’ to 833 to donate $3, or can donate online here: https://www.starship.org.nz/asb

This year we aim to raise $200,000 for upgrades to Starship's Emergency Department. The funds will be used to redesign Starship's Emergency Department waiting area with more comfortable seating for children and their families, and to help provide entertainment and distraction during a challenging time.

ASB’s long-standing support

ASB executive general manager marketing and communications Roger Beaumont says ASB is proud to have supported the Starship Foundation from the very beginning.

“ASB has a long-standing relationship with Starship Foundation, and we have an enormous amount of respect for the work it does to enhance the well-being of New Zealand children,” Mr Beaumont says.

“We’re delighted to mark ASB’s 25-year partnership with Starship through a much-needed upgrade to the children’s emergency department. The hospital can be a scary place, especially for young children. We hope the focused-upgrade will, in some way, make Starship’s Children’s Emergency Department less daunting for Kiwi kids,” Mr Beaumont says.

“Starship is a well-respected and much-loved New Zealand icon that provides nationwide service to all New Zealand children. We look forward to continuing to support Starship’s fantastic work as it continues to provide vital equipment, care and help to its patients, their families and staff,” Mr Beaumont says.

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