Story image

IT community asked to give a little - or a lot - in fundraising drive

08 Nov 17

The Kiwi IT sector and reseller channel have a chance to give back to a man who has given much to the sector in recent years, with a GiveALittle page established to raise funds for cancer treatment for David Downs.

Downs, who is New Zealand Trade and Enterprise general manager and has previously held roles with Ernst & Young and Microsoft among others, has been battling cancer, with his battle taking a turn for the worse recently when a new tumour was discovered.

Long time friend Bob Pinchin, says “David is very well known to a lot of New Zealand tech companies who are exporters.

“But also, the thing that has inspired me – and a lot of other people – is how he has dealt with what he has gone through: his humility and his fighting spirit.”

Downs has been chronicling his battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which was diagnosed early this year through a series of posts, A Mild Touch of the Cancer, on Stuff.

His battle took another turn this week when he was diagnosed with a new tumour and, with a stem cell transplant no longer an option, is looking at undergoing CAR-T therapy – an immunotherapy treatment which uses the patients own white blood cells, modified with a CAR receptor which when returned to the body can help find and kill cancer cells.

“Like Star Trek, it all sounds very futuristic and advanced – which of course it is,” Downs says in a post.

“It’s treatment that has been in development for a year or two, but which has literally only been publicly available for a few weeks, and only in the United States.

“And only if you have a squazillion dollars. So a few problems to be surmounted.”

Pinchin says Downs has been told the treatment could cost ‘the thick end of a million dollars’.

“If you ask me how much we’d like to raise, that would be it.

“Being realistic, that’s a massive ask and probably out of reach. But unless you try you’ll never know,” Pinchin says.

“His options are limited and expensive.

“When I saw that, I thought ‘there are so many people who have been following what he’s been doing via LinkedIn and Stuff, even if a relatively small bunch of people put some money in it would help him on his way towards getting this help he needs.”

Donations to the GiveALittle page topped $6000 within hours of the page launching.

Donations can be made via the GiveALittle page.

Stepping up to sell security services in A/NZ
WatchGuard Technologies A/NZ regional director gives his top tips on how to make a move into the increasingly lucrative cybersecurity services market.
Huawei founder publically denies spying allegations
“After all the evidence is made public, we will rely on the justice system.”
Chch crypto-exchange Cryptopia suffers breach
Cryptopia has reportedly experienced a security breach that has taken the entire platform offline – and resulted in ‘significant losses’.
IoT breaches: Nearly half of businesses still can’t detect them
The Internet of Thing’s (IoT’s) rapid rise to prominence may have compromised its security, if a new report from Gemalto is anything to go by.
Carbon Black: What does cybersecurity have in store for 2019?
Tom Kellerman has shared five insights for the year ahead, including a particularly bold one.
Hands-on review: The Ekster Wallet protects your cards against RFID attacks
For some time now, I’ve been protecting my credit cards with tinfoil. The tinfoil hat does attract a lot of comments, but thanks to Ekster, those days are now happily behind me.
Report on SingHealth breach condemns poor security practices
The 2018 Singapore SingHealth data breach was poorly managed and riddled with vulnerabilities from the start.
Tesla wants people to hack its Model 3
Tesla is offering white hat hackers what could be the chance of a lifetime – the opportunity to hack one of its Model 3 vehicles.