House Heroes: A tiny inspiration

Bubbly Lauren Channon has endured an incredible 130 surgeries in her 10 years, but now raises funds to help buy critical life-saving equipment for other sick kids.

Courageous schoolgirl Lauren has become the first Junior Ambassador for Humpty Dumpty Foundation, a children’s charity working tirelessly to give sick kids a fighting chance by equipping hospitals with the best possible medical equipment and care.

“When I became an ambassador, I was smiling so much my mouth hurt,” she tells The House of Wellness TV show.

“I like to raise money; every kid should go home from hospital – I want all the kids to be happy.”

Lauren was born with a genetic malformation where her oesophagus was not connected, and has been battling to live ever since.

Every kid should go home from hospital – I want all the kids to be happy.

Mum Sue has no doubts her brave youngest daughter would not be alive without the Humpty Dumpty Foundation and the generous supporters who donate money to it.

“Lauren needed life-saving surgery when she was three days old,” Sue says.

“A week or so later when I finally got to hold her for the very first time she was still ventilated and she was still attached to most of that equipment and I spotted a Humpty Dumpty sticker.

“That’s when it was explained to me what Humpty does and that that piece of equipment was donated by total strangers so that our little girl could stay alive.”

Ray Martin: ‘She’s been to hell and back’

The charity’s patron, TV personality Ray Martin, says his young ambassador is “exceptional”.

“She’s had more operations than 100 people and you’d never know. She’s been to hell and back and she’s more likely to ask you how you’re feeling, are you OK,” he says.

The charity, which has donated millions of dollars of equipment to 370 hospitals across Australia – including 241 pieces of equipment to the Sydney Children’s Hospital alone –  is celebrating 28 years of helping sick and injured children.

It relies heavily on the generosity of corporate and community donors who get involved with fundraising initiatives.

And Ray Martin, for one, is sure Lauren is making a major difference.

“You think that you’d become self-centred if you’d had 130 operations, and start to concentrate on yourself, with reason, but she doesn’t,” he says.

“She’s always talking about raising money to make life better for other children, and she means it.”

For Lauren it is simple.

“When I went up to Darwin, I heard a story about a girl who died because she didn’t have the right equipment and I thought, I just want to help,” the tiny hero says.

Learn more about the Humpty Dumpty Foundation and read more inspiring stories in our House Heroes archives. Looking to help a worthy cause? Here’s why volunteering is good for you.