Te Motu rallies to help former worker
A rare disease afflicting a former vineyard manager has prompted winemakers to help.
James Forbes worked with Te Motu chief winemaker and viticulturist John Dunleavy in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Then Forbes and his family moved to France, where he took up a vineyard manager job at Chassagne Montrachet in Burgundy.
Earlier this year, he was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Scleroderma.
It is a fibrosis disease that attacks body tissue and organs, debilitating function and is potentially life threatening.
He is receiving treatment which, if his condition continues to improve, could make him strong enough to undergo T-cell replacement therapy in Paris.
So Te Motu vineyard manager Sam Dunleavy, who is John’s son, decided to try and raise money to help pay for treatment and support the family.
He has been holding an online auction of fine wines, donated by winemakers on Waiheke and the mainland, which ends on Friday, July 21.
‘‘I have had some very generous wine donations from the Waiheke and New Zealand wine community with some very rare fine wines that you will not find elsewhere,’’ Dunleavy said.
‘‘I’d like people to take a look and make a bid if any wines interest them.
‘‘There is also a cash donation option, for those not interested in the wine.’’ The site is www.32auctions.com/ jamesforbeswineauction and features wines that include bottles and magnums from Goldwater, Kennedy Point, Mudbrick, Obsidian, Te Motu and Poderi Crisci on Waiheke.
There is also a magnum from Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich.
Forbes has been unable to work since his diagnosis.
But, writing from home, said he was in a good fighting spirit, confident that he was going to beat the disease.
He said when the T-cells were removed from his bone marrow, it would reduce his immune system to zero.
‘‘Then they reinject the T-cells, let my immune system restart and, in theory, the new cells multiply and replace the damaged ones. There seems to be a relatively good success rate.’’
‘‘I have had some very generous wine donations...with some very rare fine wines.’’ Samdunleavy
Memorial Hall, from 8.30am to 1pm. Matariki closure: Rawhanau O Kia Piritahi will celebrate the first birthday of the carved meeting house at Piritahi Marae. Piritahi about the process leading to the opening of the carved wharenui from 11am, korero and waiata from 12pm, hangi from 2pm. Meat and vegetable donations wanted for hangi - phone Huhana Davis on 372 9093. Awaawaroa Bay Eco Village walking tour: Tanya Batt will lead a tour of the village from 1pm to 4pm. Cost is $40, book at email@example.com. Art Auction Extravaganza: Waiheke Greens are holding an art auction featuring Alan Knight at Morra Hall in Oneroa from 5pm to 9pm. Entry $15 at the door. Zerowaste Fashion Workshop: Waiheke fashion designer Jeanine Clarkin will lead a free workshop on creating garments with no waste at Waiheke Community Art Gallery today and tomorrow from 10am to 3pm. Register at (09) 372 9907 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUN JULY 23
Friends of Mckenzie Reserve Planting Day: Volunteers are wanted to help plant trees at Mckenzie Reserve in Enclosure Bay from 9.30am to12pm. If possible, bring spades, gloves, secateurs, sturdy shoes and a drink bottle. For information, contact email@example.com or 021 911 332. Makerspace Club: Children aged from five to 13 can get creative at Waiheke Library from 10.30am to 12pm. Phone (09) 890 4911 for information. Zerowaste Fashion Workshop: Waiheke fashion designer Jeanine Clarkin will lead a free workshop on creating garments with no waste at Waiheke Community Art Gallery. From 10am to 3pm. Register at (09)