News

Journey for sam

Charity motorcycle rider Sue Mills.
Charity motorcycle rider Sue Mills. Trevor Veale

A MOTHER'S remarkable story of carrying her children through floodwaters and climbing a steep ridge to save her young family in 2009 is driving Coffs Harbour's Suzanne Mills to undertake the biggest fundraiser of her life.

Northern Rivers woman Sandra Lawler, 43, was honoured with a Bravery Award for dragging her young children, with the help of her brother Jason Campbell, nearly 400m up a cliff to escape their flooded home in the isolated valley of Upper Wilsons Creek.

That was Sandra's only option for survival after the family spent almost a week cut off by a raging river, unable to be helped by emergency services.

Now, in the family's hour of need, Suzanne and her mates are lending a hand to ensure one of Sandra's young boys, Sam Leadbeatter, is given a 'smart puppy' to guide him through life.

Bravery award winner Sandra Lawler receives her medal with son Ben Leadbeatter (3). Ms Lawler trekked through swollen river crossings and up cliffs with her two sons to get baby Samuel, not pictured, to hospital after he developed breathing problems.
Bravery award winner Sandra Lawler receives her medal with son Ben Leadbeatter (3). Ms Lawler trekked through swollen river crossings and up cliffs with her two sons to get baby Samuel, not pictured, to hospital after he developed breathing problems. JAY CRONAN

It's amazing the lengths good people will go to help a child in need.

Suzanne and two others will today set out from the Big Banana on a 15,000km motorcycle journey over 28 days to raise the $10,000 needed to buy Sam a special needs assistance dog.

"For someone so young, five-year-old Sam has had such a hard start to life," Suzanne said.

"He suffers severe autism, global development delay, absent epilepsy seizures and has a tumour on his brain."

Sam Leadbeater is in need of an special needs assistance dog.
Sam Leadbeater is in need of an special needs assistance dog.

She said the dog would be a valuable companion for the young boy, as Sam is attracted to water and frequently wanders away.

"Sam does not respond to instructions and does not comprehend danger, such as height, steps, fire and water, which is why he needs a smart puppy to make sure he is safe 24/7," she said.

"Rather than supporting a big charity with the ride, I'd rather deliver the money where it matters most."

To support the Keep Sam Safe 24/7 campaign click here. 

Topics:  charity ride, coffs harbour



Sara Connor trying to protect killed cop, says lawyer

Australian woman Sara Connor being interrogated at Denpasar District Court in Bali, Indonesia.  (AAP Image/Putra Sinulingga)

Byron Bay woman says she is not guilty of killing Wayan Sudarsa

Training that will save lives

HEARTSTARTER: Senior emergency department registrar Dr Kamal Cortas and iSim centre manager Rod Peadon.

Life saving training rolled out to Coffs Harbour emergency staff

Driving Coffs forward

IN THE RUNNING: Cr John Arkan with his team of candidates, Peter Ainsworth, Kelly McNeal, Matthew McLeod, Maddison Adams (Group D campaign assistant ) Tracy Adams and Annette Mavin.

Cr Arkan's team brings a wealth of experience to race

Latest deals and offers

Why Depp and Heard are fighting again

Amber Heard is furious over Depp taking advantage of her generosity

Kim Kardashian West steals hotel bath robes

Even Kim Kardashian steals bath robes from hotels, don't feel bad

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

John Williamson winding up for another Gympie Muster

John Williamson is bringing some new songs and artists to this year's Muster.

John Williamson is back and ready to put on his best show ever

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

This year 4 schoolboy outscores Aussies at Pokémon champs

He's now a celebrity in the schoolyard.

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs