ellerslie international flower show 2014

take a second look

‘Take a Second Look’ is all about raising public awareness for Kiwi kids living with arthritis. Can you spot the difference between two identical gardens? You may need to take a second look.

This garden tells a story of a young 11-year old girl, Alisha, living with arthritis. On a good day she looks like any other kid playing in the playground: swinging on the swing, sliding down the slide and hanging around on her monkey bars – things that help keep Alisha’s joints flexible & mobile. But when the arthritis takes grip everything changes, “Take a Second Look”.

On these days the playground becomes an obstacle course - the simplest things become an impossible challenge. Gripping rope with her hands, climbing the smallest of steps and even sitting on a slide all become painful and frustrating for Alisha. This garden is designed to demonstrate the challenges these kids go through when arthritis becomes a handicap.

By “Taking a Second Look” you’ll not only notice but feel some of the pain these kids bravely face. As Alisha herself puts it; “Arthritis is like glass rubbing between the bones”. This insight formed the base of the garden design and our feature plant, Astelia silver spear, symbolises glass rubbing between the bones.

KWANZ is the national support network that provides practical assistance, encouragement and information for children with arthritis and their families. It also provides opportunities for children and families to meet in order to share their knowledge and experiences and to develop friendships by way of various programmes and events that are run throughout the country. For more information please contact your nearest KWANZ coordinator at www.kidswitharthritis.org.nz