Allan Mitchell has terminal brain cancer. He is hoping to trial a new drug, which may extend his life by six to 12 months. But a 12-week course of the treatment costs $56,000.
So what does the 54-year-old from Paengaroa do? The same thing thousands of other Kiwis have - he starts a page on Givealittle, hoping some generous acts of kindness from members of the public will extend his life.
But Allan Mitchell is also a man convicted of fraud, in 2008, for selling pills he claimed would make women's breasts larger and firmer. He and his distribution company were fined $100,000. He stood in front of a judge and faced up to his actions. Case closed.
Crowd-funding sites, such as Givealittle, are built on trust. When you donate to a cause, you trust that the cause you're donating to is real and that the money you give will actually go to helping that person or cause.
In the case of Allan Mitchell, Givealittle investigated after a member of the public raised concerns about his past. Mr Mitchell, to his credit, fronted up to both Givealittle and the media. He didn't try to hide it. The fundraising platform asked him for "additional information and evidence".
"As a result we are satisfied that the Givealittle page reflects the situation facing Mr Allan Mitchell, though we acknowledge that we are unable to verify specific allegations about his past or character, and therefore not able to restrict access to the platform on this basis," a spokeswoman said.
"The page is open for donations and the investigation has concluded."
The money raised is also being paid to Braemar Hospital, not to Mr Mitchell himself.
The way I see it, he's acknowledged he's done wrong, he's faced a judge and should now be taken at his word. Though, that doesn't mean I would hand over my hard-earned cash to someone who has been proven to be dishonest.
The 188 people who have donated to his page obviously don't feel that way.
While it would be nice to take everyone on charity-based crowd-funding sites at face value, there have been times where it's hard to do so.
Earlier this year a Kiwi man, Samuel Forrest, made global headlines when he used Go Fund Me to raise more than $500,000 to support his Down Syndrome son, Leo, as a solo dad. A worthy cause, no doubt.
But Mr Forrest then used money from Leo's trust to fly business class from Armenia to New Zealand.
Would the people who donated money to Leo have done so if they knew it was going to be used to pay for flying business class? I don't know.
What I do know is that the actions of Samuel Forrest have permanently tainted my view of causes on Givealittle.
And while I can set aside Mr Mitchell's past and take his cause at face value, I just can't bring myself to donate.
Our pasts are part of who we are. And, cynical as it may be, I find it hard to entrust my money to a convicted fraudster.
What do you think?
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