George FM's 28-hour marathon 'Give Back 2 Back' DJ set has already raised over $26,000 for the Child Cancer Foundation with 16 hours to go, after the young son of the radio station's long-time surf reporter was hit with a devastating leukemia diagnosis for a second time.
General Lee and Tammy Davis from George FM's breakfast show came up with the concept - which includes guest DJ sets from Sachi, Lee Mvtthews and Sambora from Shapeshifter - after learning surf reporter Gav's 6-year-old boy Oscar was battling acute myeloid leukemia, a form of blood cancer, once again.
"We managed to go through the chemo and treatment and everything last year, and came out the other side - at that stage he had beaten the cancer," Gav explained to the breakfast show last week.
"There was a good six months at home, we started to get to a point where we were like 'okay, we're getting through this'."
But two weeks later, after a series of tests, Oscar's family was informed the leukemia cells were present again, meaning he would need more chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and irradiation conditioning treatment.
"It's like radiation cranked up 10,000 times," Gav said. "Three days of that, it's pretty intense from what we've been told. He's been really good the first two rounds of chemo, I believe this is going to knock him around but this is our best chance to condition him up for the bone marrow transplant."
"That's the reality of what families face - we're one of about 20 families up in that ward [at Starship Hospital]. There's a lot of families going through this."
"That's the reason why we want to do this, bro," Tammy told Gav.
"Especially for you because we know you and love you and you're part of our whānau, but also for all of the other families who are suffering from similar diseases to your boy Oscar."
At the time of writing, a combination of donations via text, the GiveALittle page and bids on various TradeMe auctions listed by George FM had totalled $26,977, with that figure rising by the minute.
Gav told Newshub the effort by George FM and its listeners had been "incredible".
"To see everyone coming together like this to support the Child Cancer Foundation and help them continue to do the work they do in supporting Kiwi families," he said.
"That’s pretty special. Thank you to all the beautiful people who have made it a day to dance, smile & celebrate. That is a very rare thing when you’re fighting cancer with your child."
On Wednesday, Tammy and George Breakfast producer Alex Mullins visited Radio Lollipop at Starship Hospital, where they spoke to some of the children battling cancer and checked in on Oscar in the Oncology ward.
"Last night was special for me, as it brings home how close the amazing volunteers are with the children that call Starship Hospital home," Tammy told Newshub about the visit.
"Boredom is one of the biggest challenges they face, and we went to try and help to alleviate that momentarily. Humbling and thankful are the words that capture my experience with these special people and children."
The 'Give Back 2 Back' marathon DJ set continues throughout the night, concluding at 10am on Friday morning.
A series of TradeMe auctions in support of the cause include a day in the studio with DJ Dick Johnson, an introductory helicopter flight, signed merchandise and a 'Lawn Mowing Experience' by speedo-wearing George FM host Brook Gibson.