Beccy Longham (nee Dixon), the inspirational first ambassador of Queenstown-born charity Cure Kids, died last Saturday, aged 34.
As a teenage cystic fibrosis sufferer from Wanaka, she joined dynamic charity boss, Queenstowner Kaye Parker, on the fundraising trail during the 2000s. Set up to raise money for research into life-threatening children’s illnesses, Cure Kids quickly became one of New Zealand’s most successful charities.
Parker says Beccy “lit up the room and stunned people when they heard her story because she was so positive – no matter how sick she was, she never complained”.
“She told her story about her incurable cystic fibrosis in the hope that better treatments and medications would help prolong her life and that of other sufferers, and a cure could be found one day.”
Parker says she even sang at Christmas in the Park in Christchurch.
“She went all over the country speaking – Geoff Fletcher, from BMW, decided to be a key partner after he heard her speak.
“Beccy helped start and grow a legacy charity that will be helping to save kids’ lives well after we have all gone.”
In latter years she married Darren Longham and lived in Australia, surrounded by pets.