West Otago Farming and Families
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About Me
Born in Tapanui, Otago, I grew up on Westwood, a farm at Crookston and had holidays at the beach, loving the quiet life. I like simple things. My parents are the late Murray Rodger and Jo Rodger, who lives at Karitane, Otago. I am a sixth generation of the Rodger family to have lived in West Otago since 1862. It is a truly beautiful place with the Blue Mountains, Pomahaka River, streams, farms and friendly people.

For a number of years I lived in Central Queensland, Australia in a coal mining town, later lectured multimedia and design at a university and moved to Brisbane when my older son thought rugby league was a possible career. I have two grown sons.

I returned to New Zealand in 2007 when my parents were both sick and took the opportunity of writing and doing research as much as possible. A good hobby for the mind. I have systemic sclerosis - diffuse, commonly known as Scleroderma. This is a chronic disease that causes thickening, hardening, and tightening of the skin, blood vessels and internal organs. A connective tissue disorder, there is no cure, and no reversal of damage done. What happens is my antibodies are directed against my own tissues. My good body cells are destroying my other good body cells. The medical staff and hospital here in Dunedin are wonderful.

I am positive. You have to have faith in yourself and let your mind control your body. Relax as much as possible and every day take the next one as a blessing knowing that one day the pain will stop, the skin will become softer and remission will occur. I just tell myself that there is someone worse off, look at the world around me in a different light and enjoy the wind in the trees, the laughter of my children and painted colours on my palette of life.