It's been a tough few months for Flynn Brodie, but the hot rodders never fail to boost his spirits.
Kapi-Mana News spoke to the smiley toddler from Titahi Bay in May, with his parents and sister doing their best to cope with his rare skin disorder, pachyonychia congenita (PC). It leads to painful foot blisters, thick nails, bumpy skin and cysts.
A PC Awareness Day was held in June at Titahi Bay School to raise money for research.
Since then, Flynn has spent many nights in Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland. He has had croup, his vocal cords closed up so badly one night he stopped breathing, and he was isolated for a month after catching a "superbug". His hospital visits have become so frequent that mum Jo gave up work in August.
"In the end, for me, work was not important and I decided to hang with him."
Happy distraction has come in the form of the Western Bay Street Rodders club, who "adopted" the Brodies as their cause for 2012 after hearing about Flynn.
In a charity run on October 28, they raised more than $4000 for the family through donations and auctions, which included a signed pair of Shane Cameron's boxing gloves. One glove sold on Trade Me, while Flynn joyfully accepted the other - which the 3-year-old regularly refuses to take off.
"The rally run was awesome and so much fun, they've become our extended family," Ms Brodie says. "We have been completely overwhelmed by their support for Flynn and the boxing glove just topped it all off. He went around with it on all afternoon, hitting everyone, and he sleeps with it."
Street Rodders' president Eric van Diggele says they have developed a close connection with the Brodies and were chuffed to be able to help a local family.
"You can't not build that bond; we're all parents and it was a honour to help them. At one point [during the rally afternoon] it got quite emotional, because you can see they've been through a lot this year."
Mr van Diggele says the club will support another cause or charity in 2013, but their connection to the Brodie family will likely remain in some way.
- Kapi-Mana News