FRIENDS of Gerringong eight-year-old Lauren Donnellan are rallying to help her family with their financial burden following a long battle with leukaemia.
Lauren has been receiving treatment for the disease at Westmead Children's Hospital since July last year.
Her mother, Colleen, had to shut down her family daycare business in Gerringong, while her brother, Jack, had to leave Ss Peter and Paul Catholic School and move to a school in Sydney.
The family also rented out their home and relocated to a small unit opposite Westmead Hospital. Although Lauren is making good progress and hopes to be home by next month, her ongoing outpatient treatment is likely to continue for two years.
The Gerringong community is arranging a fund-raising night at the Sebel Harbourside on Friday, February 22 at 7pm."We intend for the night to be informal and fun," organiser Natalie Osborne said.
"There are no set seating arrangements or meals, but you can purchase your meal there if you want.
"We are seeking any prizes and financial contributions, while we also need someone who has experience in auctioning - please let us know if you can help."
Mrs Donnellan and husband Ken are "blown away" by the efforts being made to put the night together.
"We are humbled by the gesture and can't thank the organisers enough," she said.
"The Gerringong community is so supportive when it comes to things like this and we just hope everyone comes along and has a wonderful night.
"Thankfully, Lauren is on the improve and starting to put on weight, and this type of support is very much appreciated by us all."
The fund-raiser will be called 'Lighten the Load for Lauren'.
Member for Gilmore Joanna Gash is offering a dinner for two with her at either Parliament House or locally.
Member for Kiama Gareth Ward will also attend.
Entertainment will be provided by Ss Peter and Paul teachers Marianne Patton and Adrian Tavan.
For further inquiries regarding the event or to make a donation, contact Mrs Osborne on 0413 183 888.