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Kidz First Hospital
Left: Kidz First Hospital, Middlemore. RIght: Tyrese and his cancer beads

Hundreds of sick South Auckland kids are hopefully a wee bit warmer at night wearing pyjamas donated through Kidz First Hospital.

This is the second year that the Middlemore Foundation for Health has had its “Jammies in June” campaign. Last year it produced over five thousand pairs of PJ’s  for Kidz First.This year they’re flooding in again.

But the hospital needs more tiny pyjamas for babies.

The Middlemore Foundation is a charitable trust working in partnership with Kidz First Children's Hospital. It raises money for Kidz First, Middlemore Hospital, and the National Burn Centre.

Up to twenty eight thousand children visit the hospital each year. Most are under three months of age and suffering from respiratory illnesses, but many others have rheumatic fever which is particular problem in South Auckland.

Service Manager Marlene Stratton
Left: Marlene Stratton and Robyn Maria, Right: Tyrese and Mum, Rose

Service Manager, Marlene Stratton says as soon as temperatures drop, admissions soar and in the last few weeks up to 100 children a day have been visiting Kidz First.

Play Specialist at the hospital, Robyn Maria says many houses are damp and not well insulated, so it’s important that children can keep warm.

One recipient of pyjamas is nine year old is Tyrese Clarke. He’s had cancer and knows Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital  too well. He’s in remission but was admitted to Kidz First with pneumonia.

He proudly wears his new blue pyjamas, festooned with guitars and skull and cross bones patterns. He’s got some extra pairs to take home for himself and his four sisters. Tyrese also wears some of his “beads of courage”. Each bead represents the milestones during treatment. Tyrese has collected 845 since May last year!

His mum Rose says he’s a brave boy. And her hero.