Kids go to public for help for ailing mum

'We just really want our parents back'

AMELIA REYNOLDS
Last updated 13:00 12/07/2014
Gasteiger appeal
MARION VAN DIJK/Fairfax NZ
APPEAL: Norina Gasteiger, left, and her twin sister Chiara, 19, and their brother Danilo, 20, are trying to raise $80,000 for their mother, who has a rare form of lung cancer.

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Three Nelson siblings are appealing to the public to help raise $80,000 so their mum can have ongoing specialist treatment in Germany for a rare form of lung-cancer.

Twins Norina and Chiara, 19, and 20-year-old brother Danilo Gasteiger have set up an online fundraising page with family friends to raise money for their mum who, they say, has always given a lot to her community. 

Tamara Gasteiger, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with a rare ALK mutation of non-small-cell lung cancer in April last year after her children told her to get a ''really annoying'' cough checked out by the doctor.  

At the checkup, the 49-year-old was told she'd had lung cancer for two years. Tamara Gasteiger sought treatment in Nelson but was advised by her health professionals that the best chance of recovery for her particular type of cancer would be found in Europe.

After researching her best options, Tamara Gasteiger, a baker in Dovedale, headed to the Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic in Germany for four weeks of specialist treatment.  

She has spent the past year staying with relatives in Austria receiving chemotherapy after the family financially exhausted themselves self-funding the $80,000 needed for the first treatment.  

Her husband Frank Gasteiger, a local photographer, has joined his wife in Austria as support.  

The three children, who moved with their parents from Germany to Linkwater in 2000, haven't seen their mum since she left for Germany. 

The twins study at university in Auckland and their brother at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.

''We just really want our parents back basically,'' Norina said in Nelson yesterday. 

The siblings have started a raffle and a family friend is selling handmade mugs.

Family friend Barbara Tippet, who was with Tamara Gasteiger at her first diagnosis, said the first round of specialist treatment had shown good results, with a 30 per cent reduction in the main tumour. 

Tippet said it was important the family raised the $80,000 needed for Tamara Gasteiger to seek a further round of treatment because it was the best chance of ''prolonging, if not saving her life''. 

Tippet moved to the Marlborough Sounds with her family at the same time as the Gasteiger family and the two families moved to Nelson together so the kids could attend Garin College.

 Tippet said the Gasteiger siblings were ''amazing kids'' and the family had been active members of their community since they arrived in New Zealand.    

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''I rang Garin College asking them to run something about the fundraising in the school newspaper and the principal said 'oh for the Gasteigers we will do anything we can'. They have just given a lot in the 15 years they have been here''.

Anyone wanting to donate to the Gasteiger family can go to  givealittle.co.nz/cause/TamaraTacklesNSCLC.

 A trust fund had been established for those without credit cards: Tamara Gasteiger Trust 0105980254899 00.

- The Nelson Mail

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