Family seek public’s help to pay for specialised cancer surgery in London.

The fund to help a hero cop pay for potentially lifesaving cancer treatment in the UK has now reached $22,000.

Papakura Constable John Connolly was diagnosed with cancer this year. It comes after a highly public beating in South Auckland in 2010 in which he almost died.

Some of the money raised will be used to get his young son to the UK to see him.

The Givealittle fundraising page had received a total of $22,184 from 282 donors.

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Many donations came from people in the community where Mr Connolly had worked as a cop.

"Thank you for your amazing work on the front line. Wishing you all the best as you head into this fight," wrote one woman who donated.

"Thank you so very much for your service to the community. The police do an outstanding job, often without thanks....best wishes to you and your family," said another.

Mr Connolly was off-duty and walking his dog when he tried to stop two girls fighting near his home in Tuakau.

As he went to help, he was king-hit from behind before up to 30 teenagers joined the attack, leaving him with a fractured skull, a collapsed lung, a broken jaw and a broken ankle.

Ten youths were later charged with his assault, and the then Police Minister, Judith Collins, said he was a hero.

His family and colleagues feared he would die, but Mr Connolly eventually returned to work after having a metal plate inserted in his forehead.

Last month, the 44-year-old was told he had throat cancer.

• To support John Connolly go to Givealittle fundraising page.