Public responds to tot's plight

By Kelli Hooks -
1 comment
THANKS: Baby Violet and mum Grace Hooper.
THANKS: Baby Violet and mum Grace Hooper.

It took just 10 days for almost $2000 to be raised for a little girl with a fatal illness and her family would like to thank those who donated.

When Masterton woman Nikki Bell, 29, found out a friend's daughter had been diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare, terminal genetic disorder that results in progressive destruction of the nervous system, she wanted to do all she could to help.

Miss Bell set up a Facebook fundraising page for 16-month-old Violet Stephen, called Help raise funds for Violet's P-Pod, after she was told by Violet's parents, Grace Hooper and Dave Stephen, that a P-Pod - a special chair that provides support for disabled children and adults - would make Violet more comfortable. Ms Hooper and Mr Stephen were told the chair would cost $1795.

On October 21 Miss Bell set up the page, directing people to donate to a bank account set up for Violet and by October 31 the money needed for the P-Pod had been raised.

She also started a fundraiser called "bring your child's artwork alive", where parents send her two photographs, one of their child pretending to paint in the sky and another of their artwork. Miss Bell then edits the photographs together.

Ms Hooper said the family would like to thank everyone for their support.

"It was really quick, we had a couple of large donations so that helped a lot.

"A big thank you to everyone who did donate and for all the help, it will definitely make things easier."

She said the chair would be arriving in the next two weeks.

The account will be kept open to help with the cost of beans to fill the chair and future equipment for Violet.

Miss Bell said it was great to see people were willing to help others.

"I wish I could say a personal thank you to everyone that donated.

"It was so fast; Violet obviously melted a lot of hearts."

She said she would continue her "bring your child's artwork alive" fundraiser to help with any ongoing costs for Violet.

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