• Zahnee Riley-Campbell wants to give back to the community
• Brave Zahnee Riley-Campbell is back on her feet, and walking without pain
• Tauranga teen to undergo surgery so she can walk properly again
• Zahnee Campbell hits hurdle
Tauranga teenager Zahnee Riley-Campbell walked up Mauao for the first time since undergoing major surgery on her lower spine. This time last year she was in a wheelchair. Reporter Zoe Hunter makes the climb with Zahnee.
Zahnee Riley-Campbell stands at the bottom of Mauao and stares at the summit.
"Bring it on," she says.
It is the first time the Tauranga teenager is climbing the Mount after undergoing complex surgery to realign her lower spine and allow her to walk without pain.
This time last year, the 14-year-old was in a wheelchair.
The first set of stairs are a breeze for Zahnee, who is raising funds for the Mount Maunganui Lions Club.
It is Zahnee's way of saying thank you for the "epic" surprise 13th birthday the club helped to throw her last year.
Leading a group of dozens of people dressed in pink fundraising T-shirts, Zahnee takes her first rest under the shade of a tree.
She starts to sing lyrics from one of Bon Jovi's songs: "Woah, we're halfway there. Take my hand, we'll make it I swear. Woah, livin' on a prayer".
Zahnee, who says she got very little sleep overnight, is joined by her friends, family, her school teachers from Aquinas College and members of the Lions Club.
Some of them hold Zahnee's hands as she makes her way to the top and others give her a gentle slap on the back for encouragement.
After a few more rests and in just over an hour, Zahnee reaches the top. The teenager throws a fist in the air when she hears the loud applause from her supporters.
The teenager plants a hand on the trig station and screams, "Woooo!"
Zahnee says it is "amazing" to reach the top.
"I'm tired," she says. "But I am really happy though."
The 14-year-old was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis of the L5–S1 level of the lumbar spine, which meant she was not able to walk properly.
In November last year, Zahnee underwent a 10-hour operation at Starship Hospital to realign her lower spine.
It wasn't the first time Zahnee has undergone surgery.
In 2011, Zahnee had a life-changing operation in New York to reposition her eyes due to damage from a rare facial vascular haemangioma that she was born with.
To honour all that Zahnee has been through, the Mount Maunganui Lions Club helped her mother Jade Riley to throw her a surprise 13th birthday.
Zahnee was treated to a limo ride, ice cream, a tour of the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance, and a takeaway dinner.
As a way of giving back, Zahnee raised about $6000 for the Club after climbing Mauao for the first time since her major surgery.
Mount Maunganui Lions Club secretary Leigh Pettigrew walked to the summit alongside Zahnee.
"We serve lots of people in the community, but very rarely we get a thank you, which we don't expect of course. She's a special girl."
Pettigrew says he will meet with Zahnee to discuss how the club will spend the money.
What is spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that affects the lower vertebrae (spinal bones). This disease causes one of the lower vertebrae to slip forward on to the bone directly beneath it. It's a painful condition but treatable in most cases. Both therapeutic and surgical methods may be used. Proper exercise techniques can help you avoid this condition.