Kelly Makiha is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Watch: Valencia's family overwhelmed with support

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The family of a young girl fighting a rare life-threatening skin condition have been overwhelmed with support from strangers nationwide.

The Rotorua Daily Post told the story about Valencia Davies in yesterday's newspaper and since then the family have been inundated with messages, prayers and offers of donations.

Valencia, a 9-year-old Owhata Primary School pupil, was struck down with painful skin condition SJS (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome) at the start of this month.

After suffering flu-like symptoms, she was prescribed paracetamol but a few days later her condition worsened. Her body became covered in spots and lesions, including around her lips and eyes.

She couldn't eat and was finding it hard to breathe.

She spent nearly two weeks in Waikato Hospital before being transferred back to Rotorua Hospital last week.

Doctors have told the family that although she has turned a corner, she is not out of the woods yet and could face life-long scarring from the sores.

The Owhata school, Owhata Friends of the School and EBabies Early Learning Centre are holding a fundraising family day at the school this Saturday to raise money for Valencia to help her recovery and to support her family.

Read more:
Girl fights life-threatening skin disease (+ video)

Her family, who have five children, have had a tough time in the past few months, with her father, Karamana Mikaere, being made redundant with the closure of Lumbercube and her mother, Ene Mikaere, being off work from her job at Countdown to be in hospital with her daughter.

Mrs Mikaere said yesterday that she couldn't thank everyone enough for all the messages of support.

"I got two really helpful responses from two ladies who both had their daughters affected with the same thing, adding me to SJS groups and just giving me tips on what to keep a close eye on.

"One of the daughters was a patient in Rotorua Hospital, she was 15 and the very first case they had here."

Mrs Mikaere said the online comments via the Rotorua Daily Post had blown her away.

"The response has been so overwhelming, I try and keep up ... I think I've read each and every one of them to my daughter. Total strangers, sending their thoughts and prayers, simply amazing ... We are so very grateful."

Eleanor Mahaki, who is organising the weekend's fun day, said she too had been blown away with support and her phone had been ringing hot.

Today she picked up a cheque for $100 and prizes for raffles from a 94-year-old woman who didn't know the family but was affected by their story.

The fundraising day will run from 10am to 2pm on Saturday.

Those wanting to donate to Valencia's Road to Recovery can make a deposit here:

Also any donations and contributions can be taken to Owhata Primary School. Contact Eleanor Mahaki for any queries, phone (021) 353 267.

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