As parents, we would do anything we can for our children – including going to the ends of the earth to help them. And that’s just what NZ Army Captains Tane and Laura North are doing for their three-and-a-half year-old son, Elijah, who was born with microcephaly and an undiagnosed genetic condition. Elijah is legally blind, can’t speak, is fed through a tube, and has 14 health issues. But he’s also a determined fighter whose parents are inspired by his never-say-die attitude.
Next month, Tane and Laura are walking 700km from Wellington to Auckland to fund intensive therapy in Australia for their son. He made great progress after four three-week treatment sessions at the Neurological and Physical Abilitation (NAPA) centre in Sydney, and Tane and Laura need to raise $56,000 to take him back for more treatment. Their ultimate goal is every parent’s greatest wish – to give their child the best life possible.
And the reason Tane and Laura are trekking from Wellington to Auckland by foot is because Elijah can’t walk himself. “It’s one of those things I don’t even have to think about, whereas Elijah loves to walk but it’s such a struggle for him,” says his mum Laura.
I’ve donated to help Elijah. I know how hard it is for many Kiwi families to access therapies and treatments that will help their children through our public health system. We’re a small country, and the truth is that there are times when we have no choice but to go overseas to give our children the best chance to improve their health and wellbeing, particularly in the case of complex medical conditions like what Elijah has. Will you join me in donating to help Elijah get to Australia and receive the treatment he needs to help with his development and quality of life? You can contribute to Elijah’s treatment at givealittle.co.nz (search “Walk for Wonder Boy”).
Laura and Tane’s #walkforwonderboy leaves Pukeahu, Wellington, on 13 March, arriving at the Auckland War Memorial on 23 March. You can follow their journey on facebook.com/#walkforwonderboy.
Editor, Tots to Teens