Richmond Town Hall manager Mary-Ann McNatty has had a rough time over the last few years, but she refuses to let it get her down.
Her run of bad luck began in October 2015 when, at 52, she broke her neck in a fall from her horse behind the Wai-iti Domain in Wakefield.
Following the fall, Mary-Ann braced her neck by tucking her helmet beneath her chin and climbed 400 metres up a steep hill to reach cell-phone coverage and make the call for help.
A long and traumatic recovery ahead of her, worse news was yet to come when a scan of her neck revealed some lesions in C2 & C3 spine that led to a diagnosis of stage three multiple myeloma.
Due to her complex injury, treatment was challenging and resulted in multiple stays at Christchurch’s Ranui House apartments, a fully-equipped facility, catering for out-of-town patients and their caregivers.
Despite Ranui’s 16 two-bedroom apartments and ten one-bedroom apartments, charity providers have realised that with an ever-increasing demand Ranui needs to expand.
Plans are afoot to build a new $10m apartment block to cater for the overflow but, as always, finding funds is an issue.
Now with her neck injury stable and her cancer in remission – and back on her horse – Mary-Ann is focused on raising funds for what she knows is an invaluable facility.
“To me, it’s all about Top of the South families having an affordable home away from home if they have a very ill family member needing treatment in Christchurch,” says Mary-Ann.
“There were a lot of people from the Tasman region at Ranui when I was there, they just enable families to stay together in time of need.”
Supported by Sport Tasman, she has organised a variety of fun events for young and old this weekend, June 9-10, in the Richmond Town Hall.
“I hope the community will get behind this event, as I will keep going until I can get enough money to send down so they can buy things like couches and microwaves to make people comfortable.”
Saturday, June 9
7-10pm Screening of classic kiwi comedy “Came a Hot Friday”. Cost $5 per adult.
Sunday, June 10
10am-2.30pm Indoor family fun day with bouncy castles and sausage sizzle. Disney’s “Wall-E” will screen at 10.30am and 1pm. $2 per child. $5 per adult.
Movie tickets are being pre-sold.