Lost and Found - Toni Street
A remarkable story of devastating loss and recovery.
'A profound and brave addition to the celebrity memoir canon.' - The Spinoff
Toni Street's easy on-air style and warm personality has made her a firm favourite with thousands of New Zealanders.
But behind the bubbly persona, is a story of heartbreak and resilience.
Toni and her twin brother Lance were the much-loved first children of Taranaki dairy farmers Geoff and Wendy Street. At nine months old, Lance was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukaemia, passing away a year later. Devastated but determined to give Toni another sibling, Wendy became pregnant soon after Lance's death, but after a difficult pregnancy, their baby Tracy was born, but only lived for a couple of hours.
Trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, Wendy became pregnant again, and the Streets were overjoyed and relieved to welcome to a healthy boy, Stephen.
Life returned to some kind of normalcy, and two years after Stephen was born, Wendy gave birth to another baby, Kirsty.
But then, when Stephen was 14, the unthinkable happened. While out on the farm with his dad, Stephen was killed in a quad bike accident. His death would become the seismic marker of Toni's life, as she vowed to do everything in her power to bring happiness to her parent's life.
Toni would go onto become one of New Zealand's most popular and successful television reporters and hosts and was determined to raise her own large family, with husband Matt. But after giving birth to their second child, she became seriously unwell, and was admitted to hospital, in agony. Eventually diagnosed with a rare immune disease, Churg-Strauss syndrome, she had her gall bladder removed, and is on permanent medication.
As a result, she and Matt found that she was unable to carry another child. Desperate for the large family that her parents missed out on, Toni's dream for a third child was realised by her best friend, who offered to be her and Matt's surrogate.
Toni and her family's story is one of almost unbelievable trial and tragedy, but also love, determination and incredible resilience and will strike a chord with anyone who has gone through difficult times.