Sam Carroll’s TV campaign for new hospital accommodation
RONALD McDonald House Westmead is a home away from home for Sam Carroll and his family.
Since being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer a year ago, the 10-year-old Grafton boy has had to travel to Westmead Children's Hospital frequently to receive treatment.
Having a warm bed and facilities close at hand after a long day has meant the world to his parents, brother Hugh and sister Mae, and helped make a difficult time easier.
The Carrolls are lucky they have rarely been turned away from the accommodation support service, but with only 18 rooms available at any one time, there are plenty of others who aren't so lucky.
That's why the Building Love campaign was created.
The aim is to raise $20 million for a new Ronald McDonald House facility worth $30 million, with the capacity to provide 60 rooms for families of children undergoing hospital treatment.
Ronald McDonald House marketing and development manager Belinda Woolford said there was not a day that went by that they didn't have to turn at least one family away.
"Their only other option to stay in hotels and other paid accommodation- which can obviously become very expensive," she said.
"The quicker we build a bigger house, the quicker we stop turning away those families."
A state-wide telethon tomorrow - which coincidentally marks a year to the day since Sam's diagnosis - will hopefully get them closer to the goal, and the Carroll family is on the campaign trail to help spread the word.
Appearing on The Morning Show alongside hosts Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies this week, Sam and his mum Angela chatted easily about the importance of the new facility to promote the Telethon.
Dad Adam Carroll said his son enjoyed meeting all the new faces the campaign brought, and was excited to introduce himself to celebrities at the Telethon on Saturday.
"It's nice to see him having fun and having something to look forward to," he said.
"Everyone who talks to him walks away with a smile on their face. We're very proud of all three of our children."
"We're in a position to help these types of services that have helped us and Ronald McDonald House is one of them," Mr Carroll said. "We're trying to help as many as we can that are helping us."