15 Dec 2023

In Laughing Memory: Nic Russell on finding a path through grief

From Nine To Noon, 10:05 am on 15 December 2023

For most, the festive season is a time of joy.

But for those who have lost friends or family during the year - it can be a particularly tough time. 

Nic Russell knows this well.

She lost her daughter Kenzie to cancer just after Christmas in 2005.

The year following, she founded Kenzie's Gift, a charity that helps children and rangitahi navigate serious illness and death.

At the moment it's helping 53 young Kiwis with one-on-one therapy with clinical psychologists - last month alone it had 17 referrals. 

This Christmas it's running a campaign called In Laughing Memory to encourage Kiwis to share their funny or quirky memories of their loved ones who have passed.

Nic has spent the past year recovering from a heart transplant - but says that hasn't slowed her down from wanting to honour her daughter's legacy.

Kenzie, left. Nic Russell, right.

Photo: Supplied