Update from family after girls lose parents to cancer

Nigel and Marjan Joyce from Christchurch and their two girls. Photo: Givealittle
Nigel and Marjan Joyce from Christchurch and their two girls. Photo: Givealittle
The family of two young Christchurch girls who lost both parents to cancer within the same week have given an update on how they are doing after an outpouring of public support.

Nigel and Marjan Joyce died from brain and breast cancer respectively, leaving behind their two daughters aged four and eight.

Marjan Joyce. Photo: Givealittle
Marjan Joyce. Photo: Givealittle
Givealittle page set up by family friend Angela Hawkins has so far raised more than $288,000.

Family member John Joyce updated the fundraiser page.

"The Joyce family would like to take this opportunity to share their immense gratitude for the outpouring of kindness and support from far and wide, that has been offered to them, and Nigel and Marjan's beautiful girls over the past few weeks.

"We acknowledge that things are tough for a lot of people at the moment, but the generosity that has been shown is truly overwhelming.

"We would also like you all to know that the girls continue to be loved and cared for by the family, as they work through this difficult period and move into the next phase of our lives. Kia kaha."

Nigel was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and then, shortly after, Marjan was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer.

Fundraiser organiser Angela Hawkins said the parents tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy for their girls despite the “unimaginable situation” in which they found themselves.

Hawkins told The New Zealand Herald she started the page on May 24.

The Givealittle page states: "In a devastating turn of events, Nigel had a health crisis on ANZAC Day and is now in end-of-life care with approximately two weeks to live.

"After just finishing radiation treatment and being told her breast cancer had gone, tragically, Marjan began experiencing vision loss and seizures three weeks ago, which has now been diagnosed that the cancer had spread through her brain.

"Their family is beyond devastated and is doing their best to support each other and maintain some semblance of normalcy for their two young girls during this unimaginable situation.

"This page is set up to support the girls and the family as they navigate this heart-wrenching time. As parents, this situation strikes a deep chord, and as we look at the faces of our loved ones, we can only begin to imagine the pain they are enduring."