Community backs leukemia sufferer
Three-year-old battler Lucas McLean has been given South Canterbury’s backing in his fight against leukemia.
On Thursday night $3200 was raised for him and his family.
About 150 people attended a garden evening at Timaru’s Mitre 10 Mega with the aim of raising funds for Lucas and his family to ease the burden of financial pressure.
Lucas has been battling with the disease after being diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March.
Since then, he has gone into remission but is still in the maintenance stage of his treatment, which involves near daily doses of chemotherapy pills.
His mother, Mel McLean, said she was humbled by the turnout and the positive support she had received from the community.
The fundraising night included a gold coin donation at the door, auctioned prizes and live presentations.
All proceeds went to Lucas, his sister Ruby, and Mel.
Following some media exposure, Lucas was starting to feel like a celebrity in South Canterbury, she said.
‘‘He strolled into Mitre-10 with his cap and his sunglasses on and he saw the photographers and gave them his paparazzi wave.
‘‘We will be out and about and people will recognise him and say ‘gidday’ and say how well is he looking,’’ McLean said.
The love and support of the community in the past few weeks had been incredible, she said.
McLean said the money would be used as a safeguard if Lucas needed more treatment or towards a campervan so she could take her family around New Zealand.
Mitre 10 Mega store manager Dave Ferguson said the store put on a fundraising event annually to help out a worthy cause in the community.
After seeing Lucas’ story in the media,staff members quickly agreed the McLean family fit the criteria.
Pupils from Bluestone School, where Lucas’ sister Ruby attended, collected donations.
Players and staff from the South Canterbury Rugby Club were handing out rugby balls and chips to those in attendance.
Harcourts real estate agent Julian Blanchard was master of ceremonies for the event and auctioned off items that had been sponsored by several South Canterbury businesses.
Mel and Lucas McLean, front, were the reason for a fundraiser run by Mitre 10 Mega Timaru with support from South Canterbury Rugby and Harcourts real estate.