A long walk from Whangarei to Wellington has so far been filled with special moments as strangers stop to donate and offer their support to cancer survivor Anton Kuraia.
The Whangarei policeman is less than a week from reaching Parliament and completing his 809km journey to raise awareness and money for fighting cancer naturally, saying his leukaemia was cured by vitamin C.
He was diagnosed in April 2013 with acute myeloid leukemia - a type of blood cancer usually fatal within a few months.
Read more on Anton's journey here.
Mr Kuraia changed his diet, took intravenous vitamin C and 10 weeks later a bone marrow biopsy showed a complete remission of the cancer. He is due to walk up the steps of Parliament on Tuesday.
"It's a painful feat but well worth it," Anton's journey continues.
Former Whangarei police colleague Nira Kingi joined Mr Kuraia to cover 140km over five days and is a trustee for the 809 Foundation.
Mr Kingi's 11-year-old son Jackson, who was the face of Project Promise to raise money for a Northland-based oncology service, has been in remission after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2009.
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"I believe in what Anton is doing and I just wanted to support him. Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way or another and you can empathise with him and remember your own struggles," Mr Kingi said.
People were often stopping on the roadside while they walked to tell them their cancer story, he said.
Following the death of his father, Mr Kuraia said he was even more determined to complete the walk.
"He's in good spirits but he's battling with his feet," Mr Kingi said. "They're all blistered up. Just doing that bit with him I appreciate the pain and mental challenge."
A stop at the Waiouru Military Training Facility saw Mr Kuraia get treatment for his feet from an army doctor.
In a blog on the 809 Foundation website Mr Kuraia said: "This walk for hope has become my journey of amazing people, and am I so grateful that I have had the chance to meet so many extraordinary, wonderful New Zealanders on my trek."
- For more information go to www.the809foundation.org.nz