Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

Donations flooding in as Elyse Johnson battles for her life

It's all about "family time" for the Taupo two-year-old diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumour.

In the two days since the Herald first ran the story of the family of Elyse Johnson's need to raise money for a potentially life-saving cure, donations have flooded in.

Some 670 people from as far afield as Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States have pledged donations to her Givealittle page and left messages of support.

So far more than $28,000, of the $400,000 the family needs, has been raised for the little toddler who has what's called a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

Most found with the tumour have less than one year to live and Elyse is already three months into her nine-month prognosis.

However, the family is hoping the money raised so far could help them reach for a glimmer of hope, from an internationally renowned neurosurgeon, Charlie Teo, who has been able to extend the lives of many adults and children with brain tumours.

Close family friend Victoria Beacock said the family was so incredibly grateful to all those who'd offered their support and donations.

"They have been blown away by the generosity of everyone who has donated, there have been a lot of personal messages going to the family," she said.

'They are so grateful and thankful."Beacock said Elyse, her brother and parents had been spending precious family time together in the last couple of days.

She said Elyse, who'd gone to visit her grandfather this weekend, had been doing a lot better since a shunt was inserted to relieve pressure on her brain.

Beacock said the money that was coming in was very much welcome.

She said Elyse's mum had prior to the story going out in the Herald gone back to work out of desperation to earn more money for her little girl.

"The donations had helped hugely, I hope she'll stop working, but they are wanting to earn money as quickly as they can."Beacock said she was still brainstorming ideas for other fundraisers to raise the $400,000 needed to get Elyse to Australia for surgery."

DIPG tumours are a no-go for all surgeons and he [Teo] has gone where no surgeon has gone before and removed tumours and saved children's lives.

Elyse is also taking a natural medicine called TBL-12, which is not government-funded and very expensive.

A month's supply costs $1124.17.Beacock said while the sum of money needed might sound unattainable, she had faith Kiwis could rally together to make a difference.

"Together [if] we can get 20,000 caring people like yourself to give just $20, we will be able to get the treatment needed and save Elyse.

"There are over 4.5 million people living in New Zealand so getting 20,000 donations is less than 1 per cent of the population."

How to help

Beacock pleaded with New Zealanders to do three simple things:

• Make a donation through the Givealittle page
• Share the Supporting Elyse Facebook page and tag three friends www.facebook.com/SupportingElyse/
• Comment on the page so the family can thank donors personally.
• All donations go to Elyse's parents to assist with purchasing TBL-12, medical care, travel and general costs around making the most of their precious time together.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 03 Dec 2016 17:16:47 Processing Time: 737ms