An Advertiser reader who anonymously donated thousands of dollars to a multiple sclerosis campaigner has been described as a bastion of community spirit.
A cheque to the value of $4500, which arrived at this newspaper’s office in a discreet envelope, was handed to Amanda Norman in an emotion-charged presentation on Thursday.
“Where has this come from?” she said, struggling to maintain her composure.
“This just gives me so much faith in the community that I can do this.”
Ms Norman is battling to overcome MS ahead of planned surgery in Russia that is hoped to control and treat the disease.
Her public push to raise $30,000 suffered a blow last week when her surgery date was unexpectedly brought forward from November to June.
The anonymous donation has had an immediate effect on Ms Norman’s campaign.
Only minutes prior to the presentation she phoned a consultant to tell him she could not afford a Russian visa.
“I told him I couldn’t afford to pay for my visa today because I didn’t have enough money,” she said.
“It means I can go ring him up and tell him I can pay for my visa.”
Ms Norman's husband, John, was similarly taken aback by the anonymous donation.
"That's a massive help to where we need to get," he said.
"For that to just arrive, for people to have thought enough of what we're trying to do, to take us into their hearts like that ... is absolutely amazing.
“It basically confirms what we believe Wagga's about.
"Wagga’s about helping each other; everyone says it's a big city that has no heart - couldn’t be any further from the truth.”
Ms Norman’s campaign – which is being run through her charity Future Hope MS – will ramp up in coming weeks with a street appeal.
It follows a world record attempt at Bolton Park last month and other appeals through the Wagga Takes Two event.
Ms Norman was thankful for the support her campaign had garnered thus far.
"It will make a huge, huge difference," she said.
Medical interest in stem cell treatment for MS piqued in Australia last year following encouraging clinical findings.
There have been less than 40 “aggressive” cases of MS to be treated by stem cell surgery in Australia and is cautioned against by the medical community.
Ms Norman, who is worried about the potential medical risks, said she vowed to press ahead with the "radical" surgery because of her family.
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