Online friends aid sick toddler's family

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 08:09 02/01/2014
Daniel Williamson
FIGHTING HARD: Lower Hutt toddler Daniel Williamson has begun his leukaemia treatment in hospital in Christchurch. Burglars have twice stolen from his parents since his diagnosis just before Christmas.

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An outpouring of public support has helped Darren and Caroline Williamson to see the other side of human nature.

The Lower Hutt couple's 1-year-old son, Daniel, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia three days before Christmas and flown to Christchurch for treatment.

While they were in hospital with him, thieves stole their car and broke into their house.

Since then, people from across the country have rallied around and tried to make things a bit better.

Nicky Astwood, one of their friends from antenatal class and a Lower Hutt parenting group, helped to set up a donation site on givealittle.co.nz, and a Facebook group, "Super Daniel", to keep track of his progress.

"It's incredible what has happened to them," Astwood said. "They are just such good people and it's so wrong for it to happen."

The givealittle page had raised almost $6000 by yesterday afternoon, with a target of $15,000.

One of the other members of the parenting group had sewn a superhero's cape for Daniel.

An offer also came in for a free alarm system and a new car for the family.

Williamson said she had been astounded by people's generosity.

"I've been blown away," she said.

"We are incredibly grateful."

Daniel started chemotherapy on New Year's Eve but treatment will be a long haul.

"He's responding as well as we can hope for," Caroline Williamson said.

"He's feeling a bit less happy but he's trying his best.

"We are doing what we can and trying to stay positive."

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- The Dominion Post

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