Benny Luke

Kia Ora **

It is with much distress that I let you know my beautiful sister Benny died on 15 November 2006...she was only 47 and had been diagnosed with primary amyloidosis (cardiac & renal involvement) and multiple myeloma in August this year. She was brave till the end and went peacefully with her loving family beside her.

Our family feels short changed that she didn't get to spend Christmas with us, and still cannot understand how her condition deteriorated so quickly. I will remain on the list as I want to accumulate information that may be useful to anyone else in New Zealand who may contract this terrible disease.

To those families who have lost someone this year...our thoughts are with you as you approach your first Christmas without your loved one. To those people battling this disease, kia kaha (be strong), be positive and keep yourself informed of all the latest developments happening in the medical world. They will have an answer for this disease one day. And to those who are have the biggest job of all. Share the load, keep healthy and well so that you can provide the loving support that is hugely beneficial to a sufferers well being.

Thank you for the information sharing, and the support and encouragement that have come from the members on this list. We are all in the same boat and it is so comforting to know that others out there care Have a very Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year

Naomi Shaw

** Kia ora is a Ma-ori language greeting which has entered New Zealand English. It means literally "be well/healthy" and may also be regarded in a more formal sense as a traditional greeting of "Good health." It is used for both "Hello" and "goodbye" and as a general exhortation or acknowledgement when listening and responding to a public speaker.

As indicated, it also signifies agreement with a speaker at a meeting, as part of a culture which prizes oratory as infotainment. Other Ma-ori greetings, "Te-na- koe" (one person), Te-na- ko-rua (two people) or "Te-na- koutou" (three or more people) are also widely used, as well as the phrase for goodbye, "Haere ra-". The Ma-ori phrase "kia kaha", literally "be strong", is also frequently encountered as an indication of moral support for someone starting a stressful undertaking or otherwise in a difficult situation.