Natalie Akoorie

Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Generosity of King Country gives little Tayler a new chance for life

Tayler Gailey, 2, with mother Lisa, is going to Mexico for alternative treatment. Picture / Christine Cornege
Tayler Gailey, 2, with mother Lisa, is going to Mexico for alternative treatment. Picture / Christine Cornege

Tayler Gailey is getting a trip to Mexico for Christmas.

It's a holiday her parents Garth and Lisa would rather not make, but they are taking their little girl overseas in a last-ditch bid to save her life.

The Otorohanga toddler has a rare and inoperable form of cancer and cannot stand without support, walk unaided or talk because of an aggressive tumour growing on her brain stem.

When she was diagnosed with a glioma cancer in February, doctors told Mr and Mrs Gailey that Tayler, now 2, would not see her 4th birthday.

In late October when the Herald highlighted Tayler's plight, the family had raised about $2000 towards the journey to a clinic in Mexico which claims to be able to cure the condition.

Now the Hope 4 Tayler fund is up to $64,000, the amount needed by the young couple, who have three other children Carter, 7, Hunter, 5, and Archer, 1.

Mrs Gailey, 25, said she was "over the moon" with the generosity of the Otorohanga and Taumarunui communities, which had raised the money in six weeks through functions, cake stalls and sausage sizzles.

One donation Mrs Gailey felt especially grateful for came from Kio Kio School, which Tayler's older siblings attend, whose pupils gave the $1300 they had raised for their annual end-of- year activity.

The family plan to have a special Christmas at home with Tayler before travelling to Mexico on December 28 for 3 weeks.

The Hope4Cancer Institute in Tijuana provides an alternative treatment called Salicinium therapy.

The clinic says this can kill cancer cells by disrupting a key enzyme.

Mrs Gailey said although there were no guarantees and the alternative treatment was not recommended by Tayler's oncologist, she and her husband wanted to give their daughter the best chance of survival.

"We wouldn't be able to forgive ourselves if we didn't try."

At the same time the couple are trying a natural food supplement thought to benefit cancer patients.

Mrs Gailey noticed something wrong with Tayler weeks before her first birthday.

"She struggled to do things that shouldn't have been a struggle. She would always drag one leg when she crawled."

Mr and Mrs Gailey pestered doctors, including specialists, for answers and discussed Tayler's developmental milestone delays with Plunket.

She was referred to the Child Development Centre in Hamilton but it wasn't until Tayler began squinting at 13 months and her eye turned inward that doctors began to suspect something serious.

An MRI scan led to the diagnosis and seven weeks of radiation therapy.

Despite it all Tayler is a happy child who soldiered through the treatment at Starship hospital in Auckland, Mrs Gailey said.

The most recent MRI scan showed the tumour had not grown, which was positive news.

Mrs Gailey said if there was any money left over from the trip or people continued to donate to the fund, the family would look at contributing it to someone else seeking alternative treatment, if Tayler no longer needed it.

To find more information about Tayler or donate to her fund, visit her Facebook page by searching Tayler Gailey.

- NZ Herald

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