This week’s ASB Good as Gold recipient is a terminally ill woman who’s an all-rounder in her community when she isn’t rounding the bases at her local softball club.
Nici Benington of Kaiapoi has stage 4 melanoma, an advanced form of skin cancer, but she doesn’t let the diagnosis strike out her love for the Kaiapoi Softball Club and the community at large.
“I don’t know how long I’ve got, it could be a year, it could be five, I just don’t know,” she told Seven Sharp.
“I have a tumour in my lung and I had a tumour in my pelvis, so they’ve removed that but it has not gone so well.”
To make the most of every moment’s she’s got, Benington has sworn to do as much as she can and take everything “week by week, month by month and year by year”.
Debby Chiplin of Kaiapoi Softball Club teams up with Benington regularly and said one of her top priorities is to build fences around the club’s grounds.
“She’s been a driving force in getting our artificial turf, and now she wants those fences so we can host tournaments… she can really put Kaiapoi softball on the map,” Chiplin said.
“It’s amazing, she’s an amazing person.”
Ken Howat, who nominated Benington for the award, spoke of her hard work and the amount of good she’s done by stepping up for the Kaiapoi community.
“[Kaiapoi Softball Club] have a fundraising target of about $35,000 and so far Nici by herself has raised $16,000 running housie at the local RSA,” he said.
“She just wants to contribute and stay positive.”
ASB is giving Benington $10,000 to go towards a perimeter fence for the softball diamond — on the promise that she treats herself and her family too, of course.
“Sounds like an amazing plan!” she joyously laughed at hearing the news. “That’s a promise, I will.”
If you know a deserving New Zealander you’d like to nominate for ASB Good as Gold, click here.
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