Father of six loses battle
The terminally ill man who’s last wish to spend Christmas with his six kids prompted generous Kiwis to donate over $36,000 has died.
Clinton Tata, 36-year-old father, succumbed to cancer at his Auckland home on Friday.
He had been battling kidney cancer since August 2013 and the disease had spread to his abdomen and lungs.
Tata made a plea for help to pay for treatment that would allow him to spend Christmas with his kids.
New Zealanders pulled together to raise more than $36,000.
Donations of toys and food also helped the family to have a perfect last Christmas with its dad.
Plans to fund the overseas treatment fell through when Tata’s condition deteriorated.
The money instead gave him access to a non-funded cancer drug which cost $7500 a month.
Wife Gloria Tata says the generous public response helped her family through a very difficult time.
"It took the burden off our shoulders.
We didn't have to worry and we could just be together," she says.
Tata was admitted to hospital on Valentine's Day because he couldn't eat.
He returned home but later spent time in a hospice.
"He lived life till the very end.
We went out for lunches and walks," his wife says.
"Clinton was pain-free. They were happy days.
"Not worrying about the financial side of things made everything so much easier to bear.
"It wasn't meant to be but the children will always remember their last Christmas with their father.
"It was something we could have never given our children and it will be in their memories forever."
* Tata didn't have life insurance. The couple could no longer pay the bills after he got sick and moved in with Gloria Tata’s parents. Go to http://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/fight4life if you want to make a donation to the family.