Par­nell boy’s spe­cial fund rais­ing ef­fort

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - CA­TRIN OWEN

A young Auck­land boy had an ex­tra spe­cial rea­son to raise money for Red Nose Day.

Par­nell 11-year-old Lukas Gill wanted to fund raise for Cure Kids’ Red Nose Day ap­peal af­ter all the help the child health re­search char­ity has given him over the years.

At just one years old Lukas was di­ag­nosed with cere­bral palsy -a phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity which af­fects peo­ple’s abil­ity to move.

The con­di­tion re­duced his hear­ing and doc­tors were un­sure he would ever be able to walk.

How­ever, af­ter a lot of phys­io­ther­apy and the aid of foot braces, Lukas can not only walk but run and play in ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘‘Day to day I hate hav­ing cere­bral palsy, but on the bright side with­out cere­bral palsy I wouldn’t be an am­bas­sador for Cure Kids,’’ he says.

‘‘I am not the only one who has some­thing hard to deal with in life and that makes me feel bet­ter and stronger.’’

Lukas stood up at Par­nell District School assem­bly and en­cour­aged pupils to bring ex­tra money and sup­port Red Nose Day last Fri­day.

‘‘I have had a lot of help in my life, and it feels good to be able to be part of help­ing to help oth­ers,’’ Lukas says.

His mum Helle Wester­gaard says de­spite Lukas’s daily chal­lenges he tries his best at ev­ery­thing.

‘‘Lukas loves run­ning even though it is a lot harder for him than his friends, he never says no to a chance to shoot hoops with his broth­ers of friends.’’

Lukas en­joys sail­ing and on the wa­ter his phys­i­cal chal­lenges are less of an is­sue.

He sails with the Royal Akarana Yacht club and hopes one day to rep­re­sent New Zealand at the Par­a­lympics.

Lukas man­aged to raise $1594.60 for Cure Kids which funds re­search for se­ri­ous health con­di­tions such as cere­bral palsy, rheumatic heart dis­ease, leukaemia among oth­ers.

Lukas hopes some of the money will go to­wards help­ing other chil­dren like him to walk eas­ier.

Over 130,000 Red Nose day noses made their way into the hands of Ki­wis all to raise money for vi­tal med­i­cal re­search.

Last year Cure Kids funded nearly $2.5 mil­lion worth of new child health re­search projects and is re­liant on the gen­eros­ity of ev­ery­day Ki­wis who do­nate.

SUPPLIED

Par­nell District School pupils Aaron Bridges, Lukas Gill, Ella Bill­cliff, Gigi Moaveni and Os­car Neville White raised money for Red Nose Day.

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