For most three-year-olds, eating is one of life's great pleasures - vegies not included.
But three-year-old Dane Aronsten, of Mt Warrigal, associates eating with pain.
A rare set of complications from birth, including a heart condition and a severe form of reflux, has prevented Dane from eating and drinking like other children his age.
Dane suffers from a condition called post-traumatic feeding disorder and, as a result, he remains on a life-supporting feeding pump.
According to his mum, Janelle, Dane's battle has left him with significant developmental delay.
"He thinks if he swallows something it will hurt him. He doesn't trust food," Mrs Aronsten said.
"It might look good or smell good, but there is now a psychological barrier there."
Mrs Aronsten said her son's weight was that of an average 18-month old baby - now slightly less thanks to the recent gastro bug that hit the Illawarra.
While mum and dad Max suffer sleepless nights while Dane is fed via a tube, Remi is often stuck at home during the day.
"We had to take her out of playgroup because she brought home a bug. It is not a risk we can take," Mrs Aronsten said.
Two months ago Mrs Aronsten established a Facebook site called "Help Dane Eat", with the aim of raising $15,000.
The money will be spent on bringing "feeding specialist" Dr Markus Wilken to Australia from Germany to provide Dane with home-based tube-weaning treatment.
The costs will be shared with a New Zealand family who will also receive a visit from the doctor.
So far $12,000 has been raised.
On Sunday, Paul and Rosa O'Neill and Hayden and Sheryl Ramsey of The Coffee Club Shellharbour will put on a gala evening for Dane which will hopefully put the Aronstens beyond their target.
It was at this new Shellharbour restaurant where Dane willingly ate for the first time, when he munched on a piece of fettucine pasta.
Also on Sunday, Cold Rock Ice Creamery in Wollongong and Shellharbour will donate 50 per cent of their profits to the cause.
Mrs Aronsten said she and her husband had been touched by the support shown by the Illawarra community.
For more information about the evening call 0401 757 761 or visit www.facebook.com/helpdaneeat.