A much-loved 2-year-old is receiving widespread support for a return to health with the people of Whangarei hosting a fundraiser to help pay for treatment Ka'iulani Forbes is receiving to deal with a rare form of cancer.
Pink was the dress code for today's walk around the well-trodden Whangarei loop.
Pauline Hopa says, “She has a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma that we want to seek treatment for. Her father is of Tainui descent from Kawhia while her mother is the daughter of my younger sister Maude. So she is from here from the people of Ngāti Hau and Ngāti Whātua."
Today's fundraising, adds too many efforts to date in Waikato and Auckland and as far afield as London in England to raise the total of $2M needed to fund overseas treatment and therapy.
Shirleyanne Brown says, “You can imagine the financial pressures of having both her mum and dad at her bedside all the time, not even thinking about the trials and expense for the treatment. But just keeping them well financially you know this is what we can do.”
Ka'iulani is a name given by close Hawaiian friends of the family. And it's also the name of a Hawaiian princess who in her time stood vigilantly for her peoples' sovereignty, and it's hoped the strength of such ancestors will assist in addressing her health condition.
Luke Bird says, “Today is all about her making a diference and showing that we care and giving what we can in terms of colour walking happiness joy fun hope."
Ka'iulani is currently at Starship Childrens' Hospital in Auckland for the start of clinical trials tomorrow to eradicate the cancer. Famiy in Northalnd are sending their love to add to all the love being sent to her from around the world.
Lucas Manihera says, “Even though she's not here with us well we're there with her and her mum and dad and her nan and pop. So yeah much aroha to them too.”
A givealittle page has been set up for those wishing to help Ka’iulani beat neuroblastoma and the family have some major fundraising events coming up.