GOOD NEWS WEEK

Jen­nifer Keyte and Peter Mitchell share their love of Seven’s Good Fri­day Ap­peal

Herald Sun - Switched On - - FRONT PAGE - COLIN VICK­ERY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Jen­nifer Keyte needs a good news story and they don’t come any bet­ter than The Royal Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal Good Fri­day Ap­peal.

The Chan­nel 7 news pre­sen­ter and mother of two is used to telling view­ers about the bad things hap­pen­ing in the world. A typ­i­cal Seven News bul­letin could in­clude sto­ries on terror at­tacks, crime sprees and vi­o­lent as­saults — enough to make any­one lose their faith in hu­man­ity.

But the Good Fri­day Ap­peal is just the an­ti­dote.

Who wouldn’t get a smile on their face at the thought of rais­ing mil­lions of dol­lars to help sick chil­dren?

“Be­ing part of the Good Fri­day Ap­peal is heart­warm­ing on so many lev­els,” Keyte says. “I see the gen­eros­ity of Vic­to­ri­ans year after year.

“How for­tu­nate are we to have a world-class hospi­tal like this and the care that is pro­vided. It is in­spir­ing to meet the young pa­tients. “It stays with you. “Pre­sent­ing news you can think the world’s not a great place but ev­ery Good Fri­day you come away say­ing, yes, the world is a good place.”

Remy (with Keyte, left) is one of those in­spir­ing kids. The 19-month-old en­dured two surg­eries in his first year of life to re­move a tu­mour that had spread through his brain.

Keyte and week­night news pre­sen­ter chum Peter Mitchell also met five-year-old Ly­dia, from Tas­ma­nia, who will be at the Royal Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal un­til at least Novem­ber.

“A lot of peo­ple don’t re­alise that sick chil­dren can be in the hospi­tal for a very long time,” Mitchell says. “Ly­dia (inset) is one of five chil­dren. Her mother is here and her father is back home car­ing for the other four chil­dren.”

This year is the 60th an­niver­sary of the Good Fri­day Ap­peal tele­cast on Seven. Last year a record $17.45 mil­lion was raised. More than $310 mil­lion has been raised for the ben­e­fit of sick chil­dren since the Ap­peal be­gan in 1931.

“When you have a child that is sick, noth­ing else in the world mat­ters to you,” Keyte says.

“I re­mem­ber in­ter­view­ing a po­lice­man from Tas­ma­nia whose lit­tle girl had a stroke. Half way through tears started rolling down his face. Then I was gone, too. You can’t help but be moved.

“It is a very spe­cial area (for doctors and nurses) to be look­ing after such pre­cious lit­tle lives. It has got to be one of the hard­est jobs in the world but the flip side is that chil­dren are re­silient.

“The med­i­cal staff have told me that chil­dren heal faster than adults and so they see won­ders. That is so pos­i­tive.

“To go into Emer­gency and re­ceive the care and the com­fort and the sup­port from the hospi­tal staff there — you never for­get it.”

WATCH ROYAL CHIL­DREN’S HOSPI­TAL GOOD FRI­DAY AP­PEAL, SEVEN, FRI­DAY FROM 9AM

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