$45,000 raised to send stroke victim to the US for treatment

In just four weeks more than $45,000 has been raised to help a Feilding woman undertake stroke treatment in the United States.

The fundraising campaign to assist Trudy Lawton was started by Piccolo's Cafe, where Lawton and her husband, Grant, are regular customers..

On Saturday Piccolo's owner, Christine King, with help from staff and customers, prepared a three-course meal fundraiser, which 100 people attended.

Trudy Lawton hopes to get access to controversial treatment that recently featured on the 60 Minutes television programme.

In 2002, aged 36, she suffered a stroke and was later diagnosed with Moyamoya disease, which constricts arteries in the brain.

She has been in and out of hospitals for treatment and operations, and is often in pain and fatigued. She had another stroke in 2013.

"Everyone has been so generous giving us stuff to auction or for raffles," said Grant Lawton. "A niece, Annette Swenson, set up a website, Facebook and a Give a Little pages. We have been so overwhelmed by the experience."

The couple go to the US on August 18 and will be there for three weeks so Trudy Lawton can have two doses of the treatment Etanercept. The drug is used to treat chronic arthritis and to clear inflammation.

"This is about hope. We have nothing to lose," Grant Lawton said. "There is an 80 per cent chance it will have some positive effect on her."

Manawatu Standard