Cancer victim Clinton Tata lived a full life to the very end, thanks to the generosity of Manukau Courier readers.
The 36-year-old father of six died at his Manurewa home last Friday.
The Manukau Courier first met Clinton just before Christmas last year.
He had been battling kidney cancer since August and the disease had spread to his abdomen and lungs.
He made a plea for help to pay for treatment that would allow him to spend Christmas with his kids.
South Aucklanders pulled together to raise more than $36,000 for the family.
Donations of toys and food also helped them to have a perfect last Christmas with their dad.
The Tatas were hoping to use most of the money to fund overseas treatment but Clinton's condition deteriorated.
The money instead gave him access to a non-funded cancer drug which cost $7500 a month.
Clinton's wife Gloria wants everyone who donated to know just how much the money helped her family through that very difficult time.
"It took the burden off our shoulders. We didn't have to worry and we could just be a family together," she says.
Clinton was admitted to hospital on Valentine's Day because he couldn't eat. He returned home but later spent time at Totara Hospice.
"He lived life till the very end. We went out for lunches and walks," Gloria says.
"Clinton was pain-free. They were happy days."
Friends and family farewelled Clinton at Tauwhara Marae in Waimate North on Monday. The Tata family will spend the next week in Northland near where Clinton is buried.
His children, aged 7 to 14, and his 2-year-old adopted son have decorated his grave with solar lights.
"Each night we drive past and they say goodnight to their father," Gloria says.
"It's like with the illuminating lights he is still there with them."
His wife will treasure her memories of Clinton as a man who always put others before himself.
"He fought till the end and I'm so proud because that is all I could have asked of him."
Gloria has thanked South Aucklanders for their overwhelming generosity.
Knowing so many people were supporting Clinton gave the family hope for his future, she says.
"Not worrying about the financial side of things made everything so much easier to bear.
"It wasn't meant to be but the children will always remember their last Christmas Day with their father.
"It was something we could have never given our children and it will be in their memories forever."
Clinton didn't have life insurance.
The couple could no longer pay the bills after Clinton got sick and moved in with Gloria's parents.
To donate please visit http://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/fight4life
- Manukau Courier
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