A Rotorua event is being held to raise money for a former Rotorua teacher on a fundraising drive to prolong his life.
Four Mothers, Four Stories is being held on Saturday and is raising money for Whitinga Harris, a trainee teacher who collapsed last year at Western Heights Primary School during the final weeks of his teacher training.
The much-loved new teacher was to start his first job at the school this year but instead he's fighting stage four colon cancer that has spread to his stomach.
The father of two young sons has been told by cancer specialists there's a drug that could extend Harris' life but it's unfunded in New Zealand, leaving his family just months to raise $100,000.
But already they are halfway there, with $50,000 raised already.
Rotorua singer Jack Grace, whose daughter is the father of Harris' children, is organising next Saturday's event.
The evening will hear from four speakers who will tell their stories about motherhood, in the lead-up to Mother's Day the following day.
The speakers are Steve Chadwick (a grandmother), Kelly Makiha (a career mother), Bella Geary (mother of a gay son) and Adrienne Whitewood (mother of a new son).
Grace said he drew inspiration for the event because he had always been interested in the voices of his community.
"Having grown up here and schooled here I have seen Rotorua grow from the days of the 70s through to today and while the buildings and population might have changed, the voice of the town people hasn't.
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"And so this night is about our town people coming together to bring their stories and experiences of their everyday lives and while it might be an 'ordinary' story, sometimes it is these experiences that shape our town and the communities we live in."
His daughter, Ruby Grace, who is the family spokeswoman for Harris during his recovery, said the family was "pushing through".
"Whity's chemo dose has been reduced as he started having some intense side effects but now is doing much better with the new reduced dose.
She said an Easter event in Kaikohe raised just over $8000 and they were waiting on tallies from other fundraising efforts.
"We have had an amazing response from people who have taken up our call to hold events, raffles or any fundraiser for Whity. Whity's spirits are high as he watches the Givealittle climb closer and closer to our $100,000 goal.
"He knows the treatment is coming and I can't wait to be able to tell him that we have the money he so badly needs. That is the day our whānau is holding out for, the day when we can finally exhale knowing we made it."
She encouraged locals to go to Rotorua's event because every koha helped.
Four Mothers, Four Stories is being held at Artisan Cafe on Tutanekai St at 7pm, entry is by koha and those wanting tickets should ring 022 097 6248.
The Givealittle page for Harris can be found here .