Special stock auction raises hope for young cerebral palsy sufferer

Stock prices were higher than normal today at a special sheep and cattle sale near Oamaru, bringing a big smile to the face of a four-year-old girl suffering from cerebral palsy.

Charlee McLachlan is used to being around farm animals but the special stock sale raised money to help her undergo lifechanging surgery in the United States, which will go some way towards alleviating her cerebral palsy.

"They go into her spine, they take a bit of her vertebrae out to pull out the spinal cord, and then put electrodes on her legs," her mother, Anna McLachlan, told Newshub.

Although Charlee wasn't diagnosed until she was two-and-a-half years old, Ms McLachlan noticed early on she had difficulty walking and doing everyday tasks.

Today she enjoys playing with her twin sister Jorja, despite the differences in their abilities.

"Jorja will race off and go and do something, and Charlee's calling out behind her, 'Stop, I can't run' and 'wait for me'. And that pulls on the heartstrings," Ms McLachlan says.

Family and friends have been fundraising towards the $120,000 cost of the operation and physiotherapy.

On Monday, the rural community pitched in for a special sheep and cattle auction.

Organiser Sarah Sutherland says there's been an incredible effort from all those involved.

"We've had donations from Twizel down to Herbert. Sheep, cattle. Farmers that haven't had stock, they've been donating money as well," she says.

Buyers are also digging deep to help boost the coffers by more than $37,000.

"We thought maybe $10,000. And then when we found out how much stock, we thought maybe $20,000. But not $37,000," Ms McLachlan says.

Charlee flies to the US in April for the surgery, which the family hopes will give her life a running boost.

Donations towards Charlee McLachlan's selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery can be made via the family's Givealittle page.