TODAY |

Ka'iulani, diagnosed with a rare cancer two years ago, beats the odds to celebrate her fourth birthday

Ka’iulani Forbes was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma, two years ago and doctors told her she had a 20 per cent chance of survival. She had her fourth birthday on Tuesday.

The four-year-old's father Manihera Forbes told 1 NEWS, "We just have to keep positive in this and believe that she’s going to live a long life, but it’s really nice to make these milestones ...  and to be at the stage where she's showing signs of improvement."

Ka’iulani and her mother Moana Forbes have been in Barcelona, Spain since July where she has been getting treatment.

She is celebrating her birthday after her treatment, Manihera says.

"She's asked for a rainbow unicorn cake, so she’s going to get that no doubt.”

All of the costs have been paid for through Ka’iulani’s Givealittle page which raised $241,136. This was the most amount of money raised for a campaign through Givealittle in 2018.

But if she needs another surgery it could cost the family another $600,000.  Manihera says they don’t want cost to be a barrier.

"We want her to have the best treatment possible and we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it."

Her parents were overwhelmed by the amount of support given to them through Givealittle.

"Every day we just get so much love and support – it keeps us going and it keeps her going too.

"For everything we are going through with our girl, I think we cry more of tears of joy for the love and happiness we have received than tears of sadness," Manihera says.

"Yes she's our daughter, but there are so many people on this journey pushing for her to get through it, it’s really something special."

The four-year-old is only supposed to be in Barcelona until the middle of January, when they hope she can come back home to New Zealand.

Her doctors gave an update on her progress last night.

"Just last night we got an email from the doctor saying, they’ve consulted with New York and they’ve consulted with Starship here in New Zealand and all three of those groups think the best case is to test her at the end of her current treatment and if it hasn’t got any worse, let her come home just to monitor her with scans and check her progress," Manihera says.

He says although there are improvements it has been extremely tough on her.

Chiefs star Messam is a key supporter of two-year-old Ka'iulani as she battles a rare form of cancer.
Source: 1 NEWS

"Each day of treatment’s really hard on her, the doctors and us try and comfort her in anyway, shape or form,” says Manihera.

She now has a two month old brother Manaoterangi who is with them and Manihera says this has been a really good thing to boost her morale.

"She's really loving having a little sibling, she’s really proud at the moment she can lift him on her own, so that’s one of her joys in life at the moment."

It’s not only been hard on Ka’iulani, but hard on her family too.

"I sometimes cry on a daily basis, because I miss my little girl and I miss my wife and my son and just knowing what they’re going through while I’m here in New Zealand," says Manihera.

But he remains hopeful, "We're just riding out the storm we are going to get through it and the sun will shine again and we’ll carry on."

All the funds raised went toward her overseas treatment and to give her the best fighting chance to beat Neuroblastoma. Source: Givealittle