It was a humbling day for Wellingtonians Raymond Chan and his partner Sue Davies, who spent much of it feeling overwhelmed as they watched donations towards his cancer treatment rise by over $1000 per minute during much of the past 24 hours.

The Wellington based Chan is one of New Zealand’s highest profile wine consultants but his health took a turn for the worse after cancer made a reappearance last year. He and Davies have been managing the decline in Chan’s health but hope appeared with the introduction of the high priced Keytruda drug. They have paid for treatments already but, having exhausted their own financial reserves, they confided in friends, who launched a fundraiser at the online Givealittle. It went live yesterday morning on Thursday 25 August. And it went viral.

The day began with $800 and ended with over $34,000 and this morning has already climbed several notches up to $37,120 – from 170 donors. The aim was to reach $40,000 by October. More details in yesterday’s blog, below, which also has the link to donate.

Raymond Chan played a pivotal role in my early days as a journalist and fledgling wine writer at the Wellington arts newspaper, Capital Times (now Capital magazine). The wine tastings he led in the early 1990s switched on many lights on my wine journey.