Greg Best was browsing Facebook one night when he saw a story about five-year-old Maddy Dorrington.
Maddy has cerebral palsy and spastic diplegia, meaning she can't walk, balance or carry out daily activities independently.
But there is hope that one day she will be able to walk on her own and be independent after being accepted for surgery at St Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri, USA.
Mum Gemma has to raise $140,000 to get them from Torbay to Missouri and be able to pay for the physiotherapy treatment needed for a year afterwards.
Her story struck a chord with Greg because Maddy is close in age to his own daughter Mackenzie, who is almost 4.
"Seeing (Mackenzie) grow up every day healthy is an absolute blessing," he said.
"I really feel for the kids when basic freedoms we often take for granted, such as walking, running and playing with friends, are unfairly taken away from them."
The Arkles Bay resident wants to raise money for Maddy, so he set up a Trade Me auction offering a full day's work around the winner's home.
Through the auction and various donations Greg raised $650 and is really happy with the response.
"The auction got nearly 20,000 hits," he said.
"A lot of people visiting can't afford to pay a couple of hundred for the auction, but can spare $5 or $10 on the Givealittle page.
"When you see how many kids are on Givealittle and need help it's pretty sad. At the end of the day it's only money. If we all donated just a little bit we could change people's lives."
Gemma told Greg his little girl should be very proud of her dad.
"It made me cry. So many people we don't know have come forward to dedicate time and resources to help Maddy," she said.
"It's been a real learning curve. Approaching people to ask for help has been tough but it's nice to do something like this and see all the goodness in the world."
Gemma and Maddy hope to get to the US in May.
"Being able to give her this chance is so gratifying," Gemma said.
To help Maddy visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/4Maddy or the 4Maddy Facebook page.
SURGERY TO TACKLE SPASTICITY
The surgery Maddy will be having is called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).
It involves cutting some of the sensory nerve fibres which come from the muscles and enter the spinal cord.
The surgical team identifies which dorsal rootlets cause spasticity (tightness), then the abnormal ones are selectively cut and the normal ones left intact.
This reduces messages from the muscle, resulting in reduced spasticity.
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