More than 130 people braved Sunday's rain to take part in a fundraiser for a young Northlander battling cancer.

Gary-John "GJ" Hill, a trainer at Kerikeri Community Fitness and Northland's former No. 1 golfer, was diagnosed earlier this year with stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The 29-year-old is currently undergoing chemotherapy in Auckland.

Read more: Mates rally as top sportsman battles cancer


To ease the financial strain on Mr Hill and his wife Sasha, both of whom have had to put their jobs on hold, Mr Hill's gym training partner Yeadon Strongman-Waha organised a fundraising walk starting at Kerikeri Basin.

Due to the rain and thick mud on the Rainbow Falls track the Walk for GJ route was changed to a loop around the Heritage Bypass, and instead of a post-walk barbecue across the river from the Stone Store the Pear Tree Restaurant offered the use of its marquee while its chef did the sausages.

Mr Strongman-Waha, 21, from Waitangi, said the turnout was much better than he expected given the weather. He was grateful to everyone who took part and to the Pear Tree for offering a dry place for the barbecue and raffle draw.

The walk raised $2350, on top of the $28,900 donated as of yesterday to a Givealittle page set up to help the couple.

"Gary's really overwhelmed by the support and everyone coming together," he said.

He also read a message from Mrs Hill who said they felt humbled by the show of support, and the community's "amazing generosity" had eased their financial worries.

Walkers travelled from as far away as Whangarei and Doubtless Bay to take part.
Donated raffle prizes included a helicopter flight, an art print and gym memberships.