Selfless siblings affected by cancer embrace Auckland abseiling challenge to help others

Source: 1News

A young Auckland cancer survivor and his sister have raised $4,000 for the Make a Wish charity for sick children by abseiling down a city skyscraper in a race with each other.

But, Seven Sharp reports, it was more than a competition between Zavier Coulam who's afraid of heights and older sister Liv who didn't want to lose.

Zavier was doing it in part because he has survived cancer, and in part because his little brother, Logan, has also been diagnosed with the disease.

Zavier lived his nightmare at the top of an 18-storey Queen Street skyscraper because others, as well as his family, have carried him this far in life.

"We're fundraising for Make a Wish, to help get another kid's wish come true," Zavier said.

He wasn't always the strapping lad he is today.

"I had ALL blood cancer which is a type of leukaemia. Sick all the time. I was throwing up a lot. And with all the treatment and all the different medicines it made me feel really yuk," he recalled.

The cancer meant three-and-a-half years of treatment and visits to Starship Hospital from when he was only four. 

His days in hospital were cheered up by watching Westpac helicopters including rescue one landing and taking off.

"We loved watching them."

So Zavier became a helicopter crew member through Make a Wish, a charity that helps kids who are very sick.

Mum Liv Coulam said Make a Wish provided Zavier with a little uniform that matched exactly what the crew had, and "it was fantastic".

Ms Coulam said she couldn't believe it when young Logan was diagnosed with Birkett's leukaemia.

Logan has finished his treatment and currently he's well.

In the abseiling sibling sprint, the winner was Liv who declared, "I got down first."

But after the highs and lows they've faced, this is a family who feels like they're all winners.