A boy who raised nearly $2000 for child cancer three years ago has himself been diagnosed with the disease.
In 2015, the then 11-year-old Joenah Iona cut 30cm of his hair at a Child Cancer fundraising event to make wigs for those who had lost hair due to their illness.
"Such a generous gift for those children and their families going through a difficult journey," was then written on a Givealittle page.
Little did the Wellington family know, three years later Joenah, now 14, would be diagnosed with sarcoma cancer.
With the tragic news of his diagnosis, friends and family have set up a Givealittle page for him. Over $16,000 has been donated so far.
"Joenah has a rollercoaster of a journey ahead of him. Donating money is a way that we can help him and his family," it says on the Givealittle page.
In October 2018, Iona was airlifted to Starship Hospital after a tumour was found on his spine. Joenah had surgery and has undergone his first round of chemotherapy.
"He has finished his first round of chemotherapy but the last few days have been tough for him," they wrote on the page.
"Chemo is making him feel pretty yuck, sleepy and he has little appetite."
The Scots College student was also on strong antibiotics after a blood test yesterday found he had a blood infection.
"Glad that his high fever has gone down now with zero headaches this time," a post on social media says.
Joenah's mother Nadia, who has four other children, had to give up her job to take care of her son, putting a financial strain on the family.
"His family's whole world has been turned upside down," the post says.
"Everyday living costs are difficult to meet and this is placing extra stress on the family during an already difficult time.
"Funds will be used to help pay for bills, food and rent for the family while Joenah is receiving treatment.
"This is a chance for us to follow the example that Joenah set for us in 2015 by giving to those that need our support.
"Please give generously. Joenah is a kind, caring and gentle kid. He is awesome. Let's let him know that we are right there beside him."
Family and friends across New Zealand, as well as former All Blacks Ofisa Tonu'u Eroni Clarke and Alama Ieremia, have visited Joenah in hospital.
"How can we ever thank you enough for all you've done for our son Joenah. You have been extremely supportive through this difficult time. God bless you all," Nadia wrote.