Simon Plumb is a journalist for the Herald on Sunday

Donations for new mum diagnosed with cancer near $100k

Rebecca Hyndman, Jeff Hyndman and their son Ben. Photo / givealittle
Rebecca Hyndman, Jeff Hyndman and their son Ben. Photo / givealittle

Online donations for a new mum diagnosed with cancer have almost hit $100,000.

Less than two months after the birth of her first son, Ben, Auckland's Rebecca Hyndman was told she had an aggressive form of cancer and may have only months to live.

The shocking news prompted one of Hyndman's best friends to create a Givealittle page on Boxing Day in the hope of providing baby Ben and Hyndman's husband, Jeff, financial stability in the event of Rebecca's death.

Eight days later, more than 1500 donations have raised a kitty of over $95,000.

The Hyndmans tried for three years for a baby, but since Ben's birth on November 28 Mrs Hyndman has been told she may have less time than that to live.

Nausea and loss of appetite were thought to be typical symptoms of Mrs Hyndman's pregnancy. She was diagnosed with a post-natal blood clot, but a week later remained unwell and was admitted to hospital with a suspected infection in her C-section wound.

Then she found a lump in her stomach that turned out to be a gastric tumour and has been waiting on test results to classify what type of cancer it is.

Rebecca Hyndman with baby Ben. Photo / Supplied
Rebecca Hyndman with baby Ben. Photo / Supplied

Mrs Hyndman said the tests might change the outlook, but it was a waiting game.

"Our focus [for now] is to get rid of the blood clots, but you can't just wave a magic wand," she said last week.

"But being realistic the life expectancy isn't measured in years."

Mrs Hyndman said it was hard finally getting the baby she'd tried so hard for, only to then not be able to look after him, describing the situation as "not what it should be".

Friend Anna Seccombe says she set up the Givealittle page to provide financial security during a time when the Hyndmans needed it most.

"Rebecca is extremely concerned first for her family," Ms Seccombe said. "She is worried about leaving behind her husband and son without the financial means to allow them time to grieve when she is gone. She also wants them to be able to get on with their lives without having the added burden of financial pressure.

"At a time of the year when most people have more financial pressure, we understand that donating to a stranger is a big ask. But we're asking. Big time. Please help this beautiful family to support [and eventually mourn] their precious Rebecca without having to worry about finances."

Another close friend, Amber Bibby, said it was incredible to see the amount of support from the public.

She said the situation was one of those "cliche things that you don't expect to happen to people who you love".

"How people rally and support ... it's so meaningful," she said.

Mrs Hyndman said "overwhelmed" was an understatement as to how she felt about the support.

"It helps make the day a little brighter."

She needed to know her boys were taken care of.

"Before I leave I have promised everything will be in order," she said.

- Herald on Sunday

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