With a population of just over four million, New Zealand is a small country in numbers of people, but not in land mass. It comprises three main islands – North, South and Stewart. Lea Hullett, diagnosed with WM in 2014, decided that irrespective of the distances, WM patients/caregivers need to be able to find and reach out to other patients/caregivers for help and support. When the IWMF approached Lea about establishing a WM Support Group, she generously agreed to give of her time to establish and coordinate the Support Group’s activities.
Waldenstrom New Zealand (WM-NZ) will be located in Timaru, in the South Island. Lea hopes to reach WM patients across the country with some in-person meetings as well as virtual meetings . . . and lots of telephone calls and emails.
Lea is married to Nick O’Brien and has two sons. She is a Life member of two other not-for-profit organizations and is a Trustee/Secretary of the Donkey & Mule Protection Trust, a registered charity in New Zealand.
We thank Lea for her commitment to help others with WM. And, we welcome WM-NZ and Lea to our family of International Affiliates.