Sakira Knights, 13, started with a $12 lightbulb and has bartered her way up to a $3000 furniture voucher in her quest to raise $20,000 for Parkinson's Disease research.
It sounds like magic, but a Wellington teenager has found a way to turn a $12 lightbulb into $3000.
Sakira Knights, 13, is determined to help fund a cure for Parkinson's Disease and she is doing it one trade at a time, bartering her way from a single lightbulb up to $20,000.
The idea is simple. Businesses or people trade something of higher value for something they want. "Then we can turn it into money and donate it to the scientists," she says.
When Sakira's grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease last year she began thinking about what she could do to help.
The family was unprepared for how quickly the normally slow-moving disease developed in her grandmother, she said.
"In September she was doing star jumps and now she's in bed. I thought that although I might not be able to help her I could help other people in the future."
Beena Knights said her daughter initially set about finding a cure for the disease but was soon convinced to instead support the scientists already working on it.
Determined to encourage Sakira to fundraise through other avenues than "just knocking on doors asking for money", Beena told her about Canadian man Kyle MacDonald who traded his way up from a paperclip to a house using the barter system.
"Straight away she settled on a lightbulb as the image of an idea."
The pair found a bookshop in need of some light and traded a book for the bulb. Then they were off.
A supermarket traded a grocery voucher for the book, which was then swapped for a gondola ride.
Further trades included helicopter flights and restaurant vouchers. Sakira now has a $3000 furniture voucher to offer for her next trade.
It is not just the trades that are helping fund a cure for the degenerative disease, Beena said.
Schools and businesses across the country have joined in by using donated coins to create lightbulbs as a symbol of support for Sakira's efforts. An auction of donated goods will also take place September.
The money will be donated to Shake It Up Australia Foundation and Auckland's Centre for Brain Research.
You can check out Sakira's progress at: https://www.facebook.com/LightbulbTradeRelay
WATTS THE DEAL?
* Sakira's $12 lightbulb was traded for a $37 book, then a supermarket voucher, which was then traded for a gondola ride.
* The gondola ride was swapped for restaurant vouchers, which in turn were traded for a helicopter trip, then swapped for a $1200 wine voucher, which became a three-night stay in an Auckland hotel.
* A $3000 furniture voucher is now up for grabs.
WHAT IS PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
* A progressive neurodegenerative condition caused by insufficient quantities of dopamine, a chemical in the brain.
* When dopamine levels fall, body movements become slow and awkward. There is no known cure.
* About 1-in-500 people have the condition, according to Parkinson's NZ. The average age at diagnosis is 59.