Kindness to strangers pays off for sisters with cystic fibrosis

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Sisters Kristie Purton and Nikki Reynolds-Wilson have been named finalists in a national award because of their good deeds in helping others. Photo/file
Sisters Kristie Purton and Nikki Reynolds-Wilson have been named finalists in a national award because of their good deeds in helping others. Photo/file

Two Tauranga sisters both living with cystic fibrosis have been named as finalists in a national award for their kindness to strangers.

Kristie Purton and Nikki Reynolds-Wilson, who call themselves the "Cystic Sisters", have been chosen as finalists for the Spirit of Attitude category in the 2016 Attitude Awards.

The national awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of Kiwis living with disability and chronic health issues.

Kristie and Nikki were born with cystic fibrosis and not expected to live beyond 18-years-old.

Kristie (33) and Nikki (25) live busy lives with their husbands and their children, tempered with daily medication appointments and hospital visits.

Last year, Kristie and Nikki decided they wanted to give back and 65 good deeds for cystic fibrosis was born.

Funded completely by themselves, the sisters do things such as delivering home baking to emergency services, hospital security and lifeguards, donate used clothing to good causes and sometimes pay for a McDonald's meal for an unsuspecting stranger in the drive-through queue behind them.

The project was so successful the sisters have continued it again this year.

Nikki said there were moments where she felt down and thought ''everything's unfair and why me?''.

''But if I stay like that I'm not going to live and be very happy, so I always pull myself out of it and be happy," she said.

Last month, halfway through this year's 65 Days of Kindness, Nikki got the call she had been waiting for - her wait was over for a new set of lungs.

Nikki has now completed the lung transplant and is recovering well in hospital.

Kristie said her parents thought it was weird not hearing the usual cough they had heard since the sisters were children.

Kristie and Nikki will find out if they have won the Attitude Award at a black-tie gala on November 29 at Auckland's ASB Showgrounds.

There are eight categories in the 2016 Attitude Awards, with some new awards this year: Youth Spirit, Making a Difference, Emerging Athlete, Sporting Spirit, Spirit of Attitude, Artistic Achievement, Entrepreneur and Employer Award.

The overall winner of the Attitude ACC Supreme Award is selected from the category winners and a People's Choice winner and Hall of Fame inductee will also be announced at the awards.

The Spirit of Attitude award is sponsored by Drake Medox and New Zealand manager Gay Barton said it was proud to support the Spirit of Attitude Award.

"Despite their own personal challenges and disability, the finalists have shown us that virtually nothing is impossible if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.''

ACC is another sponsor and chief executive Scott Pickering said the awards were important because they were a reminder that everyone benefited when people looked at what we can do, rather than what we can't.

"This year's finalists have an impressive list of achievements and ACC is delighted to acknowledge New Zealanders who live life to the fullest, achieve their goals and are role models in our communities."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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