Ta­mathon aids Tama’s treat­ment


The out­pour­ing of gen­eros­ity from well-wish­ers across the Waikato has over­whelmed a Man­gakino mother.

Kirsty True­man or­gan­ised a twelve- hour fam­ily fun day to raise funds for her son’s spe­cial­ist treat­ment, which was only avail­able over­seas.

As of yes­ter­day funds for three­year- old Tama True­man had grown to more than triple the orig­i­nal amount his mother had hoped for.

The ‘‘Ta­mathon’’ fam­ily fun day at Ned’s Place in Whaka­maru on Satur­day, Jan­uary 24 brought sup­port from as far as Auck­land to do­nate to­wards the child’s $8000 spe­cial­ist ther­apy in Los An­ge­les.

With more than $ 10,000 do­nated and more than $17,500 con­trib­uted through the give-alittle fundrais­ing web­site, True­man said the re­sponse had been over­whelm­ing and hum­bling, the to­tal gifted dona­tions reach­ing more than $27,500.

‘‘We are now able to take him to Los An­gles twice, for two lots of ther­apy.

‘‘He’s go­ing to get far more ther­apy than we ever dreamed pos­si­ble, we cer­tainly couldn’t have af­forded it.’’

As re­ported re­cently in the South Waikato News, Tama suf­fers from hy­po­to­nia, or ‘‘ weak mus­cles’’, the cause of which has not yet been di­ag­nosed.

The dis­or­der means Tama has had very lit­tle less con­trol over any of his body’s mus­cles since birth.

On­go­ing ther­apy in Welling­ton had in­creased Tama’s strength and ex­tent of con­trol so that he could laugh, cry, and high-five, but not yet walk or crawl.

How­ever, use of the spe­cialised treat­ments and tech­nol­ogy avail­able in Los An­ge­les was ex­pected to help Tama train more of his mus­cles to work, and could pro­vide hope in di­ag­nos­ing the dis­or­der caus­ing the hy­po­to­nia.

True­man, who works as the Man­gakino-Pouakani coun­cil­lor at Taupo Dis­trict Coun­cil, said peo­ple of all ages en­joyed pony rides, a bouncy cas­tle, a wa­ter slide, and live bands play­ing un­til 11pm.

‘‘We had peo­ple from Auck­land, Hamil­ton, Ro­torua, Tu­rangi, Ru­a­toki, Mata­mata, Tau­ranga, Opotiki, Toko­roa and Taupo that I know of, as well as lo­cals from Mango, Ti­hoi and Whaka­maru.’’

Tama will travel to Los An­ge­les on March 3 with his par­ents, grand­mother and sib­lings as pre­vi­ously planned, and then again later this year or in 2016, True­man said.

She said all of the funds would go to­wards the cost of his ther­apy and his flights, and none would be used for her fam­ily’s travel costs.

True­man said the lo­cal po­lice and fire­men gave rides in their ve­hi­cles, while a lo­cal farmer paid for work­ers to of­fer rides on two large trac­tors for dona­tions.

‘‘Hon­estly I’ve never been to an event that had so much feel­ing of aroha at it, peo­ple were just so giv­ing, and want­ing to help.

‘‘I was close to tears so many times see­ing peo­ple com­ing up giv­ing en­velopes,’’ True­man said.

‘‘It’s such a beau­ti­ful thing to see ev­ery­one do­ing it for our lit­tle boy.’’

True­man said she would set up a Face­book page for Tama so her fam­ily can post up­dates about his progress for all the peo­ple who helped him.

True­man said she would store pho­tos and news­pa­per clip­pings of her lit­tle boy’s child­hood.

‘‘One day, what­ever the fu­ture may hold for him, he’ll be able to see that all of th­ese peo­ple tried to help him, and what an awe­some com­mu­nity we live in, and the beau­ti­ful peo­ple that sur­round him.’’

LOVED: Three-year-old Tama True­man en­joys the sun, as well as his first ever pony ride at the Ta­mathon fundraiser.

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