Support for Blair's surgery

Te Awamutu people are helping raise funds so that former Te Awamutu resident Blair Spalding (36) can access vital brain surgery in Germany.

Family friend Alana Fisher says last year was supposed to be a special one for Mr Spalding, his fiancee Carla and their two year old daughter Indie.

"Blair and Carla were to be married in Rarotonga in September, but earlier in the year Blair was diagnosed with a fairly rare type of brain tumour.

"This was operated on in March and since then Blair has undergone six courses of chemotherapy.

"Both Blair and Carla hoped that they could still get married, but in June they had to cancel the wedding due to effects of the tumour and the chemotherapy."

Scans have shown that the tumour has stabilised, but to improve his prognosis, the only available option is further surgery.

Due to the location of the tumour and possible damage to critical areas (such as speech and memory) of the brain, Mr Spalding has been advised that his best course of action is to undergo an operation, which uses a brain-mapping machine during surgery to significantly reduce risks.

Unfortunately, this type of machinery is not available in New Zealand.

"So his family and friends are helping to raise the money needed to go to the International Neuroscience Institute in Hanover, Germany, for surgery within the next few months."

Ms Fisher is staging a sausage sizzle and cake stall at Mitre 10 Mega on Saturday from 9am.

On Sunday there will be a large garage sale under the grandstand at Albert Park.

"Anyone who has some items that they want to donate can drop them to us at Mitre 10 on Saturday or contact me for more details."

Red Kitchen is also helping out with a fundraiser, donating the cost of every coffee sold on March 5 to the cause.

Anyone else interested in helping Mr Spalding can access details of the authorised fundraising account via Facebook (Blairs Brain Tumour Fundraiser) or contact Ms Fisher (ph 021 906 110).

"Every dollar will help - around $90,000 is required just for the operation.

"Then we need to ensure that Carla and Indie can be with him for the three months he needs to recuperate."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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