Friends of Darrell Oake set up this website. ((CBC))

Friends and colleagues of a photographer suffering from a paralyzing illness are banding together to help him.

Darrell Oake was recently diagnosed with Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can cause weakness and paralysis.

"He was complaining of numbness from his head to his feet," wife Leanne told CBC News. "He could hardly walk, he had a little bit of slurred speech, so we took him in to see what was going on with him."

Darrell, who supports his family as a freelance photographer in the Halifax area, has been in the hospital for the last three weeks.

It wasn't long before friends like Frank Zinck offered to help. He created a website so people can donate money to help the Oakes.

"In the last 20 hours, I just can't get over how many people have responded to it. It's been unbelievable," Zinck said.

Leanne Oake said it's been a struggle to keep life as normal as possible for their four boys.

"They're worried about dad, just like I am," she said.

The IWK Health Centre says 30 people in Nova Scotia were diagnosed with Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome last year. Most people who get it make a full recovery.