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Papakura Courier : May 18th 2011
www.papakuracourier.co.nz Wednesday, May 18, 2011 21-22 May, 10am-5pm www.glutenallergy.co.nz ONLY $10 entryy CHILDREN UNDER 5 FREEGLUTEN FREE FOOD & ALLERGY SHOW BIGGEST SHOW EVER! THIS WEEKEND at ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane Another world beckons Party girl: Lisa-Marie Jeptha shows her mum Lizel the dress she'll wear to the purple-themed party this weekend -- and to her funeral. Photo: FIONA GOODALL By HINERANGI VAIMOSO SHE'S got the dress, she's chosen the music. She's drawn up a design for the cake and she's even picked the coffin. Making funeral plans isn't usually a priority for 11-year- old girls but that's the reality for Lisa-Marie Jeptha of Papakura who's been told she won't live for much longer. Lisa-Marie was diagnosed with a type of muscular dys- trophy when she was six years old after her parents Lizel and Fabian noticed her falling over regularly. Her legs would just give way. We used to notice her waddling too,'' Mrs Jeptha says. Everything just weakened and because it was so gradual you couldn't always tell when something was wrong.'' The disease progressively deteriorates the muscles and can make breathing muscles weak, causing inadequate lung function, a reduction of oxygen and an increase of carbon dioxide in the blood. The Jepthas are originally from South Africa and moved to Papakura from Christ- church a week before the quake in February. They had planned to take Lisa-Marie and her two sisters on a trip to South Africa but were told by doctors their daughter couldn't fly any more so they settled in Papakura. Mr and Mrs Jeptha knew their daughter was unlikely to live beyond 18 but during a visit to Starship Hospital last week they were told the worst possible news. At first I didn't under- stand. Even the doctor was upset but I couldn't work out what he was really saying,'' Mrs Jeptha says. The pair then had to explain to Lisa-Marie that she didn't have much longer to live. There's no easy way to tell your daughter that news and there's never a good time to talk about it but she's been amazing through this whole thing,'' Mrs Jeptha says. There are some days where I will just cry all day and she just laughs at me. How can we be sad when she's constantly smiling?'' So instead of moping about her lack of time left, Lisa- Marie has put her writing ability to good use. Her mum carries a note- book of all Lisa-Marie's final wishes including her funeral plans featuring purple orchids, pink lilies and white roses throughout the venue. Among her playlist for the service is Stay by Miley Cyrus which includes the verse: I love you more than I did before and if today I don't see your face, nothing's changed, no one can take your place.'' She has also chosen Rocketeer by Far East Movement with the words: Above the clouds in the atmosphere. Just say the words and we outta here. Hold my hand if you feelin' scared. We flyin' up, up outta here.'' I liked the words about going to another world,'' Lisa- Marie says. When asked by her mum why on earth she'd bother requesting a purple three- tiered chocolate mudcake for the funeral if she's not going to get to taste it, she replied: I'm going to be up there watching people eat it.'' Mrs Jeptha says Lisa- Marie's dealt with the situ- ation with humour and she wants to be remembered that way. She's even written in her notebook that I have to speak at the funeral and it says remember to crack a joke'.'' Lisa-Marie has already chosen the dress she wants to be buried in, a purple satin number with plenty of bling. And yes, she wants to be buried because she can't stand the thought of her beautiful purple coffin being cremated. Lisa Marie will get to wear her dress for the first time this weekend when she's the guest of honour at a party at Butterfly Creek in Manukau. The party is being thrown by a family friend. She says she wants to do something special for a girl and her fam- ily who have been positive, upbeat, sweet and handling all that they have been through with smiles and laughter and positive words''. Two of Lisa-Marie's aunts are being flown up from Christchurch for the party along with her best friend Taygan from her old school Shirley Primary. Lisa-Marie is also hoping to have a purple-themed tea party with her sisters Zoe who's just 10 months old and eight-year-old Cheyenne as soon as possible.
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