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Community rallies for Finn

Finn Yeats with sister Grace; [at right]. $13,210 had been received from 339 individual donors on a givealittle page by 6pm Wednesday night. PHOTO/FILE

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A givealittle page set up to help the family of the late Finn Yeats, has gained more than $13,000 in donations in the first 24 hours.

His death has left the community looking for a way to help his family after a week-long search for the missing 20-year-old ended tragically.

His body was found in the Tongariro area on Monday.

It’s not the first time the community has come together to support the Yeats family.

In 2012, Finn’s younger sister, Grace, was flown to Starship Hospital after becoming suddenly ill, leaving her unable to speak or move.

She was the 13th person in the world to be diagnosed with a rare condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.

She has since regained the ability to speak and communicate via an iPad but relies on a medicinal cannabis spray called Sativex to relieve her symptoms, at a cost of more than $1000 per month.

Now their sister, Safiyah Solliman, is concerned about extra strain being added to the family who just want to give Finn a decent farewell.

She said she set up the page “to make sure my family is taken care of and this event is as easy on them as it can be”.

“All I wish is for our family to be able to afford Finn’s funeral costs and that Mum doesn’t have to bear the stress of everything, as she’s already gone through a tough time with my sister Grace and is still having a hard time with that to this day,” Solliman said.

“The community is really showing our family a lot of love and support which is amazing, and I wish Finn was here to see how much everyone loved him.”

Solliman wanted to thank the community, and all friends of Finn’s and the family for coming together to support them.

“People who are coming over and even just giving me a hug, people I didn’t even know but Finn knew, makes me feel a lot of love and comfort,” she said.

“I don’t feel alone in this and I know I’m not.”

Family spokesman Jonathan Tanner, said the family was extremely thankful to everyone for their support in what was “a really terrible time”.

“The main thing is the family’s gratitude for the ongoing heart-warming response from the local community, and also people from all over the country who have donated.”

Tanner said people saw the family’s situation and wanted to help, and the page gave people an outlet to do so.

He said the response so far had been “amazing”.

Finn leaves behind his parents, Tracy and Stephen, his siblings Safiyah, Angus and Grace, and his niece Ellie.

People wishing to donate to the cause can do so by searching ‘Finn Yeats’ at www.givealittle.co.nz with funds going towards funeral costs, support for Tracy, and the home.


  1. My condolences to the family and prayers to their daughter in her recovery from ADEM. Curious and concerned where you got your information as “the 13th person in the WORLD” to be diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis. That is far from a true statement. More awareness and discussion to this condition needs to happen so misinformation such as the statement above isn’t released to the public. Best regards.

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