Million dollar donation boost for cancer ward
The world’s most well-known golf caddy has given patients in the Starship children’s hospital oncology ward a million reasons to be happy.
Tiger Woods’ caddy Steve Williams presented the Starship Foundation with $1 million raised through his charitable foundation, the Steve Williams Foundation.
The money will go towards a $5.5 million revamp of the ward.
While the foundation has traditionally supported junior golf projects, Mr Williams says one visit to the oncology ward sealed his and wife Kirsty’s support.
“If every person came in here and spent a day with the kids, it would touch their heart. You can’t help but want to be a part of it.”
He presented the cheque to Oscar Rae, 1, and brother Ethan, 4, who both received bone marrow transplants at Starship last year.
The brothers suffered from the rare genetic condition Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, which meant they bled easily and suffered from eczema.
Mr Williams attended guest speaking engagements and held golf days to raise the money, after pledging to raise funds for the foundation last October.
“People are very generous with their money when they know it’s going to a great cause,” he says.
A knee injury that has kept Woods off the PGA golf circuit has allowed Mr Williams more time to fundraise.
“It certainly helped. In a sense it all worked out,” he says.
Paediatric charge nurse Natalie James says the new facility will allow the hospital to increase the number of beds and modernise their facilities.
Separate rooms for children who are most susceptible to infection will also be built.
Construction on the new ward begins in November, with the aim of having the project finished in April.
Oscar and Ethan’s mum Susan Rae says the oncology unit does an amazing job.
“What do you say to people who give you a chance to watch your children grow up?”
In the money: Tiger Woods’ caddy Steve Williams, who raised $1 million to help upgrade the Starship hosptial oncology ward, with bone marrow transplant patients Ethan Rae, 4 and his brother Oscar, 1.