Paul and Fiona remain passionately grateful for the joy James’ anticipation had on the family – seeing a little boy who had been through 10 days of intensive chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant where his immune system had been destroyed to becoming a little smiling kid doing what other kids his age could easily take for granted.
So last year the couple committed to raising $10,000 for Make-A-Wish, an act that culminated in Paul this weekend appearing in a TVNZ1 series featuring charity fundraisers.
“This gave me the opportunity to fund wishes for other kids – to deliver more of what had made an impact on us, to people who needed that support,” he says.
Paul appears in Adventure All Stars, that takes charity fundraisers on an unforgettable trip to a mystery New Zealand location. Hosted by Erin Simpson, Paul joined five others who had fundraised for Make-A-Wish NZ to experience Northland – including parasailing, jet skiing, sand surfing, mountain biking and kayaking.
“I met great group of people who I will remain friends with, we got to share an amazing experience together for a common cause. We all wanted to deliver that support to families.
“And I got to do a bunch of activities and the one that made an impact was the visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Being able to play the role of chief in that ceremony was powerful and quite moving. Not to mention I shot four out of five skeets at the shooting range.”
Marquardt says the timing of the series could not be more poignant. “Adventure All Stars will be a window to things you can do in your own back yard when the Covid restrictions are lifted.
“You will get to see a group of lively and enthusiastic people discovering how beautiful our country is – people won’t be able to take overseas holidays so we should get out and explore our own country.”
Adventure All Stars is on TVNZ1, 2pm, Sunday, April 19