Editorial comment – Around good Samaritans

Leigh Smart (right) with family members Sam Willoughby (middle) and Simone Willoughby at the Holiday Inn in Suva. Picture: ROHIT DEO.

Fifteen-year-old Unaisi Radinibeqa yearns for a lot of things in life. She’s like any other youngster her age in many ways, with her own hopes and aspirations.

The Bible verse Psalms 23 holds special meaning for Unaisi, who is a cancer patient, as she lies on her hospital bed.

The verse is well known to many Christians. It reads: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”.

The verse holds deep meaning for Unaisi. For many Christians, there is reassurance in the words.

Yesterday, the youngster was far away from her pain as she joined other children for the Walk on Walk Strong (WOWS) Kids Fiji Christmas party at the Holiday Inn Suva.

The children were treated to helicopter rides, and pampered throughout the day.

Unaisi said she was excited to be part of the party.

It was a great day to be out in the city.

Having had so many near death experiences, Unaisi said she was no longer afraid of losing her life.

She reads her Bible frequently and prays for her healing.

Yesterday was another opportunity for her to acknowledge all those who have always stood by her through her many challenges.

Such moments are important for children such as Unaisi.

It offers them an opportunity to get away from their hospital beds, leave aside the pain and suffering, sense of uncertainty and fear, and enjoy such precious moments in their lives.

For such moments though, there are good Samaritans involved behind the scenes.

The WOWS Kids party was hosted by the Smart family from Australia.

Obviously, not too keen to bask in the limelight, the family has been involved with WOWS for a number of years. “What we wanted to do was provide a memory,” Kimberlie Smart said

“We had 70 kids suffering from cancer, 30 kids from Suva and Lautoka so we wanted to give them a fun day with their parents, doctors and nurses and say thank you for everything that they do.”

The Smart family are also overseas ambassadors for WOWS Kids Fiji. The family assisted in the rehabilitation of the Oncology Unit at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

We also acknowledge Vomo Island and Cure Kids Fiji — with help from Captain Cook Cruises Fiji for pampering 20 children and adolescents living with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) on Friday. They were part of the annual “Christmas at VOMO” event.

It is encouraging to know that we have good Samaritans around who are willing to give their time and money for the benefit of others.

They should serve as inspiration for us all, and deserve acknowledgment. Thank you.

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