Former Starship patient’s annual tea towel designs give back

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Young cancer survivor Ruby Seeto has released a fresh, new design in her tea towel series to help raise vital funds for our national children’s hospital.

Ruby’s Starship Spritzer is fizzy and fun for everyone to enjoy on a warm spring day. Her tea towel design has pretty tones of lavender and lemon with sweet buzzy bees adding their honey. This is Ruby’s 12th tea towel in a series created in partnership with New Zealand-owned linen company Wallace Cotton. The long-running collaboration has raised over half a million dollars for Starship since 2009.

“I received such amazing treatment when I was in hospital,” says Ruby. “This is my way of supporting the incredible work that Starship does in caring for New Zealand children.”

Co-owner of Wallace Cotton Paula Wallace says it has been a privilege to support Ruby in her mission to give back to Starship.

“We are very proud of our collaboration with Ruby,” says Paula. “The difference we can make through the sale of her tea towels to the lives of the children and families of Starship has been hugely rewarding.”

From the age of nine, following the discovery of a large tumour on her side, Ruby would spend a week in hospital every 21 days undergoing chemotherapy for a very rare cancer known as Embryonal Sarcoma of the liver. Over 12 months, she underwent 14 rounds of chemotherapy.

Now 23 years old, Ruby has been cancer free for the last 13 years. The grateful patient chooses to fund priority projects at Starship, which are close to her heart.

Funds raised through Ruby’s tea towels have supported multiple projects in Starship, including the Oncology ward, the neonatal simulation programme, an international training fellowship for a Specialist Starship Oncologist, the setup of an ovarian tissue cryopreservation banking protocol for New Zealand Haematology-Oncology Services and the refurbishment of Starship’s Phlebotomy laboratory, where 600 children each month have blood samples taken.

Most recently, Ruby’s Kiwi Breakfast Bowl for Starship design raised over $42,000 alone to help equip the Day Stay Unit with a digital wall display to help calm and distract children as they wait for their appointments.

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Proceeds from Ruby’s Starship Spritzer tea towel will go towards equipment for the Heart Ward. It available now from Wallace Cotton, both online and in store.