Josie Hepi-Hika’s cancer battle given a boost by Whanganui fitness challenge

Josephine Hepi-Hika, together with her associate Calais Winikerei and daughter Luna-Demiia Winikerei. Photo / Supplied

Whanganui’s Josephine (Josie) Hepi-Hika was 35 weeks pregnant when she was recognized with two strands of stage 4 most cancers – Burkitt’s lymphoma leukaemia and lymphoma – in the beginning of April.

Doctors made the choice to induce labour and the 19-year-old gave delivery to a daughter, Luna-Demiia, the day after her analysis. She began her preliminary spherical of chemotherapy that night.

Now Josie’s family members are organising a fundraiser for her and her household. “A Minute for Josie” is ready to happen at Nefarious Fitness & Performance in Whanganui subsequent month, with entrants battling to finish as many reps as they’ll of 13 completely different workout routines/actions.

They can have a minute on every train.

Organiser Lee-Arna Nepia stated Josie had a big household who had been actively concerned in sports activities and health, so organising an occasion like this made sense.

“I do crossfit and the opposite organiser does F45, so we tried to merge the 2,” Nepia stated.

“We thought ‘let’s make it enjoyable’, but additionally, ‘let’s put ourselves by some ache’, as a result of basically that is what Josie goes by in the intervening time.

“All the cash we elevate goes to her and her household, and we’re placing the decision out to native companies to sponsor prizes as properly.”

Nepia stated 11 companies had already signed as much as assist the occasion.

The workout routines on the day embrace burpees, air squats, wall balls and field jumps, and rivals can sort out the rowing machine (most metres in a minute) and assault bike (most energy burned in a minute).

Nepia stated Josie had remained “so robust” since her analysis.

“Being a brand new mum as properly, the best way she holds herself, is simply unimaginable. Her child woman is wholesome, and Josie and her associate Calais are actually superior mother and father.

“Something like that is actually like a worst case state of affairs, however she has a robust assist community behind her.

“I really feel for individuals who have needed to undergo one thing like this alone.”

Josie was residing in Ngaruawahia on the time of her analysis, Nepia stated, and was now in Waikato Hospital.

Her associate, Calais Winikerei, needed to cease work to grow to be a full-time dad to Luna-Demiila whereas Josie underwent remedy.

Josephine Hepi-Hika is currently receiving treatment in Waikato Hospital. Photo / Supplied
Josephine Hepi-Hika is at present receiving remedy in Waikato Hospital. Photo / Supplied

“Because of the varieties of most cancers she has, and due to Covid-19, there are actually strict guidelines round visiting her,” Nepia stated.

“Loads of her household stay in Whanganui, and also you simply really feel actually helpless.

“Something like this [A minute for Josie] is the least we are able to do to assist out.”

Chemotherapy could be ongoing, till “who is aware of, actually”, Nepia stated.

“It’s actually unsure in the intervening time.

“Josie was allowed to go residence, however she’s again in hospital as a result of her white cells had been critically low.

“She’s now in a particular suite, and I believe solely her Mum and associate are allowed to go to.”

Nepia stated a givealittle web page for Josie had been began, and the household had been “blown away” by the assist thus far.

“We’ve had individuals who do not know us or Josie from a bar of cleaning soap giving cash.

“Whether it is large or small, all of it provides up, and all of it goes in direction of a great trigger.”

“A minute for Josie” was a “fundraising occasion, a well being promotion occasion, and an consciousness occasion”, Nepia stated.

“We’re going by a little bit of ache, however not as a lot as a lot she is.

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“She’s additionally began a Facebook web page known as ‘Hope For Josie’ to share her experiences and lift some consciousness.

“Hopefully it’s going to construct some empathy round these varieties of cancers, and for somebody going by one thing like this at such a younger age.”

“A minute for Josie” takes place from 9am to 2pm on Saturday, June 5, at Nefarious Fitness & Performance in Wilson St.

For extra data on the occasion, go to

The Hope for Josie givealittle web page could be discovered at

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