Whanganui's Josephine (Josie) Hepi-Hika was 35 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with two strands of stage 4 cancer - Burkitt's lymphoma leukaemia and lymphoma - at the beginning of April.
Doctors made the decision to induce labour and the 19-year-old gave birth to a daughter, Luna-Demiia, the day after her diagnosis. She started her initial round of chemotherapy that evening.
Now Josie's loved ones are organising a fundraiser for her and her family. "A Minute for Josie" is set to take place at Nefarious Fitness & Performance in Whanganui next month, with entrants battling to complete as many reps as they can of 13 different exercises/movements.
They will have a minute on each exercise.
Organiser Lee-Arna Nepia said Josie had a large family who were actively involved in sports and fitness, so organising an event like this made sense.
"I do crossfit and the other organiser does F45, so we tried to merge the two," Nepia said.
"We thought 'let's make it fun', but also, 'let's put ourselves through some pain', because essentially that's what Josie is going through at the moment.
"All the money we raise goes to her and her family, and we're putting the call out to local businesses to sponsor prizes as well."
Nepia said 11 businesses had already signed up to support the event.
The exercises on the day include burpees, air squats, wall balls and box jumps, and competitors can tackle the rowing machine (most metres in a minute) and assault bike (most calories burned in a minute).
Nepia said Josie had remained "so strong" since her diagnosis.
"Being a new mum as well, the way she holds herself, is just incredible. Her baby girl is healthy, and Josie and her partner Calais are really awesome parents.
"Something like this is really like a worst case scenario, but she has a strong support network behind her.
"I feel for people who have had to go through something like this alone."
Josie was living in Ngaruawahia at the time of her diagnosis, Nepia said, and was now in Waikato Hospital.
Her partner, Calais Winikerei, had to stop work to become a full-time dad to Luna-Demiila while Josie underwent treatment.
"Because of the types of cancer she has, and because of Covid-19, there are really strict rules around visiting her," Nepia said.
"A lot of her family live in Whanganui, and you just feel really helpless.
"Something like this [A minute for Josie] is the least we can do to help out."
Chemotherapy would be ongoing, until "who knows, really", Nepia said.
"It's really uncertain at the moment.
"Josie was allowed to go home, but she's back in hospital because her white cells were critically low.
"She's now in a special suite, and I think only her Mum and partner are allowed to visit."
Nepia said a givealittle page for Josie had been started, and the family were "blown away" by the support so far.
"We've had people who don't know us or Josie from a bar of soap giving money.
"Whether it's big or small, it all adds up, and it all goes towards a good cause."
"A minute for Josie" was a "fundraising event, a health promotion event, and an awareness event", Nepia said.
"We're going through a bit of pain, but not as much as much she is.
"She's also started a Facebook page called 'Hope For Josie' to share her experiences and raise some awareness.
"Hopefully it will build some empathy around those types of cancers, and for someone going through something like this at such a young age."
"A minute for Josie" takes place from 9am to 2pm on Saturday, June 5, at Nefarious Fitness & Performance in Wilson St.
For more information on the event, go to www.facebook.com/aminuteforjosie.
The Hope for Josie givealittle page can be found at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/hope-for-josie.