Street Rod­ders bond with sick boy

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

It’s been a tough few months for Flynn Brodie, but the hot rod­ders never fail to boost his spir­its.

Kapi-Mana News spoke to the smi­ley tod­dler from Ti­tahi Bay in May, with his par­ents and sis­ter do­ing their best to cope with his rare skin dis­or­der, pachy­ony­chia con­genita (PC). It leads to painful foot blis­ters, thick nails, bumpy skin and cysts.

A PC Aware­ness Day was held in June at Ti­tahi Bay School to raise money for re­search.

Since then, Flynn has spent many nights in Star­ship Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal in Auck­land. He has had croup, his vo­cal cords closed up so badly one night he stopped breath­ing, and he was iso­lated for a month af­ter catch­ing a ‘‘su­per­bug’’. His hospi­tal vis­its have be­come so fre­quent that mum Jo gave up work in Au­gust.

‘‘In the end, for me, work was not im­por­tant and I de­cided to hang with him.’’

Happy dis­trac­tion has come in the form of the Western Bay Street Rod­ders club, who ‘‘ adopted’’ the Brodies as their cause for 2012 af­ter hear­ing about Flynn.

In a char­ity run on Oc­to­ber 28, they raised more than $4000 for the fam­ily through do­na­tions and auc­tions, which in­cluded a signed pair of Shane Cameron’s box­ing gloves. One glove sold on Trade Me, while Flynn joy­fully ac­cepted the other – which the 3-year-old reg­u­larly re­fuses to take off.

‘‘The rally run was awe­some and so much fun, they’ve be­come our ex­tended fam­ily,’’ Ms Brodie says. ‘‘ We have been com­pletely over­whelmed by their sup­port for Flynn and the box­ing glove just topped it all off. He went around with it on all af­ter­noon, hit­ting ev­ery­one, and he sleeps with it.’’

Street Rod­ders’ pres­i­dent Eric van Diggele says they have de­vel­oped a close con­nec­tion with the Brodies and were chuffed to be able to help a lo­cal fam­ily.

‘‘You can’t not build that bond; we’re all par­ents and it was a hon­our to help them. At one point [dur­ing the rally af­ter­noon] it got quite emo­tional, be­cause you can see they’ve been through a lot this year.’’

Mr van Diggele says the club will sup­port an­other cause or char­ity in 2013, but their con­nec­tion to the Brodie fam­ily will likely re­main in some way.

Photo: SUP­PLIED.

Big punch: Flynn Brodie spars with his dad, Liam, at the Western Bay Street Rod­ders’ rally run on Oc­to­ber 28.

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