Parnell boy’s special fund raising effort
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.
Parnell District School pupils Aaron Bridges, Lukas Gill, Ella Billcliff, Gigi Moaveni and Oscar Neville White raised money for Red Nose Day.