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.