FOUR weeks ago, Paul and Sally Fineanganofo received the news no parents want to hear – their three-year-old son has cancer.
After a bout of the flu, David Fineanganofo’s lymph nodes around his neck and the back of his head were swollen and when antibiotics did not help, a blood test confirmed the worst.
David was immediately flown to Sydney to undergo tests for leukaemia, his parents and younger brother Noah, 1, following along behind.
Since the family has relocated to Ronald McDonald House near the Randwick Children’s Hospital so David can undergo treatment, Mr Fineanganofo’s colleagues at The Area Hotel have rallied together to do everything they can to help.
An account has been set up to assist the young family and the hotel staff have all jumped on board the national Ugly Bartender Competition, which will run until November to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.
“We were hoping it was just a blood infection, that we’d go to the hospital in Sydney, it’d be a one-off and we’d come back,” Mr Fineanganofo said.
“But as soon as we got there, they said there was a 98 per cent chance it was leukaemia.
“That was a bit hard to take but we’re slowly coming to terms with it.
“It’s curable, so that’s the main thing.”
David is currently undergoing treatment, including chemotherapy three times per week, which could continue for nine months.
But all the little boy wants is to go home.
“We can’t really plan, we just have to play it by ear at the moment,” Mr Fineanganofo said.
“The hardest thing has been trying to get him to understand why we’re actually there.
“We explained he has a little bug in his blood and we have to get rid of it before we can go home.”
Over the coming weeks, The Area Hotel and The Exies Club will hold a series of events to raise money for the family, as well as the competition.
There are also hoards of merchandise available for sale and a bank account running especially for the Fineanganofo family.
The Area Hotel licensee Jason Torresan will host a special performance by Mersey Beats on November 16 to raise money for the Fineanganofos, as well as an 80s night on November 23 with funds going to the Ugly Bartender competition.
“If anyone wants to donate they can come into the hotel and we’ll give them all the details,” Mr Torresan said.
“This has really hit home with us and we’ll do as much as we can to help Paul and his family.”
How you can help
Donate to Bendigo Bank account
- Name: Little David’s Fundraising Account
- BSB: 033 000
- Account: 150441293