Thank you South Auckland - your generous hearts have given new hope to cancer victim Clinton Tata and his family.
They have been overwhelmed to receive $36,000 from complete strangers to put towards paying for urgent specialised treatment overseas.
The 36-year-old father-of-five has been battling kidney cancer since August and has been given limited time to live.
The Manukau Courier featured his story on Tuesday. In it he said seeing his children on Christmas morning was his ultimate wish.
Clinton and wife Gloria's children are aged 7 to 14. They also have custody of their 2-year-old nephew.
Your help has made Clinton's wish come a little closer to reality.
Donations started to flood into the givea little.co.nz website as soon as his story appeared in the newspaper and on the Stuff news website.
By 1.30pm yesterday the total had reached $36,000 - the family's original target was $30,000. Money has come in from Iraq, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Food donations and gifts have also arrived from all over the country. The Mad Butcher gifted a $200 voucher, Noel Leemings and The Warehouse have offered toys for the children.
"It means there is a light at the end of the tunnel for us," Gloria says.
"To me, I've done everything I can to help fight this battle."
As the Manukau Courier went to print Clinton was at a private clinic in Epsom for an appointment with a specialist to see if he's eligible for targeted radiotherapy on a 12cm tumour in his back.
A doctor who has relocated from Melbourne might be able to do the treatment here in Auckland. If not, the family will seek help in Australia.
If Clinton qualifies for the treatment here, it could be the first of its kind to be done in New Zealand.
The money raised will be used to pay for that radiotherapy first and any left over will go towards a trip to Germany to get more treatment to remove the tumours in Clinton's lungs.
Clinton says the response to his plight has been "unbelievable and amazing" and he can't believe it has just kept gaining momentum.
"I'm a little scared and anxious as I don't want to let people down. But it has made me more determined to fight this battle," he says.
Clinton's story has been circulating on Facebook pages all over the country. Facebookers have been offering Christmas presents to send to the children.
But his kids say they're just happy they can now help "keep Dad better".
PAYING IT FORWARD
Tata family are saying thank you the only way they can - by paying it forward.
Clinton and the children have offered their own XBox360, plus 25 games, to a needy South Auckland family.
In Tuesday's Manukau Courier Clinton said the family couldn't afford to pay the bills let alone buy Christmas presents for the kids this year. He was determined to sell some personal items to pay for gifts.
But after the phenomenal response they've received he and the kids decided to offered the XBox as way of thanking everyone who has contributed.
The Manukau Courier was given the job of finding the right family so we asked Manukau Salvation Army to select one from those who have applied to their annual Christmas appeal.
The selected couple has three children. They will receive their unexpected gift next week.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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