Rosie gives back for Reef

Rosie Smith, pictured with son Reef, is running a family tennis tournament on Sunday.

Five years after her son finished cancer treatment, Rosie Smith is hoping to serve up an ace for the charity that helped her family.

The professional tennis coach is teaming up with Cambridge Racquets Club to run a tournament on Sunday (March 12).

She hopes to raise $10,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides free accommodation and support for families with a child in a New Zealand hospital away from home.

“I’ve chosen a family tennis tournament because it reflects the Ronald McDonald ethos of keeping families together,” she said. “That’s what felt right for me.”

In 2014 Rosie’s son Reef was diagnosed with leukaemia, a type of cancer that develops in the bone marrow.

Ronald McDonald House provided a home away from home while he was having treatment at Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland.

“It’s just absolutely amazing,” she said. “In the middle of it all, when you’ve got all this treatment, all this chaos and all this noise from everything you’ve got to try and do, it’s this lovely place to go to where they look after you.”

Reef is now 10 years old and a cancer survivor, having just passed his five-year post treatment milestone.

Now, his mum wants to give back to the organisation that gave her family so much.

“I don’t know how we would have got through it without Ronald McDonald House’s financial and emotional support,” Rosie said. “It’s the most incredible resource that we have as a charity.”

She is running this Sunday’s family tennis tournament with Cambridge Racquets Club life member Graeme Martin and committee member Wayne Peterson.

The event is open to everyone in the community keen to play doubles tennis with a family member and entry is $20 a team.

“You can be 40 years old and be the child playing with your mum or dad – we’ve got a whole range of different entries, ages and family connections who have entered,” Rosie said.

For more details on the Ray White Ronald McDonald Family Tennis tournament email [email protected].

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