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



Drilling down to the next stage of the Coffs Harbour bypass

The bypass would be four lanes.

Drilling starts on the Coffs Harbour bypass

Festival draws in record crowd with its multicultural flavour

Sydney bhangra dance troupe Rhythm of Bhangra flashed its colours at the Woolgoolga Curryfest on Saturday, September 24.

Curryfest attracts largest crowd yet as thousands get taste of India

Boardwalk fix a step closer to completion

ALMOST THERE: Coffs Harbour International Marina manager Elise Currey is hopeful the boardwalk to Muttonbird Island will finish in time for the Christmas holidays.

After months of delays a finish date for the marina boardwalk nears

Local Partners

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

John Mayer's advice for Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes has revealed John Mayer gave him advice

Coffs region is hot property

The region’s housing market is looking up, with projects on the radar in Tannum Sands and Boyne Island.

Units and houses are both pulling strong returns for Coffs

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.