Five-year-old looking forward to doctors fixing 'dad's broken brain'
When you walk into the Perkins family home in Carterton, there is a picture of a figure on a chalkboard with some lines and squiggles in its head.
Nick Perkins explains that it is his 5-year-old son Thomas's drawing of "Dad's broken brain".
Perkins was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 2½ half years ago, and will head to Singapore next month for 12 weeks of stem cell treatment, funded partly through the generosity of the Wairarapa community.
He and wife Danielle are optimistic about the future, and speak openly about his condition with Thomas and his brother Lachlan.
"He's getting his brain fixed – all the connections so it will control better," Thomas said.
Danielle, who is 14 weeks pregnant with her third child, said: "We spoke about it and thought it would be better to try for another child now as there was no telling how long the after-effects of the treatment may influence our ability to do so later on."
The couple both work and have juggled work and family commitments with fundraising. Fortunately for their finances, Nick has been able to continue his IT job in Masterton, despite bouts of dizziness, weakness and blurred vision.
They have formed a registered charity to try to raise $200,000 for Nick's treatment, which is not available in New Zealand.
"So far we have raised $120,000 of the money needed to fund the treatment, and the support has been wonderful," he said. "The Wairarapa community has gotten right behind us and, with a month to go, we could still get close to the amount."
Support can be given at this website https://perkins.net.nz/