Com­mu­nity backs leukemia suf­ferer

Waitaki Herald - - MOVIES - RYAN DUN­LOP

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.

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