Teenager singing in­spi­ra­tion for Star­ship lis­ten­ers

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By RACHEL STURGES

It’s hard to be­lieve Ra­dio Lol­lipop singing star Camp­bell MacKenzie was born with a life-threat­en­ing de­for­mity.

The day-old baby boy couldn’t breathe or feed and was di­ag­nosed with an in­ter­nal or­gan ab­nor­mal­ity. He needed ur­gent med­i­cal at­ten­tion from the team at Star­ship Hos­pi­tal to save his life.

Now the healthy Mt Eden 14-year-old reg­u­larly gives back to the hos­pi­tal by singing live on Ra­dio Lol­lipop to en­ter­tain the young pa­tients.

Cam has loved mu­sic for as long as he can re­mem­ber.

‘‘I started play­ing gui­tar when I was six and I re­ally did like lis­ten­ing to mu­sic, and it kind of kicked off,’’ he says.

His first public per­for­mance was at a school va­ri­ety show at Mt Eden Nor­mal Pri­mary School.

Then, when he was 9 and want­ing to raise funds for the Star­ship Foun­da­tion, he started busk­ing on Auck­land’s Vul­can Lane. He later sang at the 2009 Star­ship Su­per­nova Swing fundrais­ing con­cert along­side Op Shop front­man Ja­son Ker­ri­son.

He wanted to do more but was too young to be a vol­un­teer on the wards, so he con­tacted Ra­dio Lol­lipop to see if he could sing for them.

‘‘I felt like I needed to give some­thing back to the kids,’’ he says.

Ra­dio Lol­lipop chair­woman and vol­un­teer An­gela Mackie says Cam is an amaz­ing per­son.

‘‘When he sings he draws peo­ple to him,’’ she says.

Ms Mackie says the ef­fect of his singing on the chil­dren is amaz­ing.

‘‘I was once sit­ting with two girls on the ward and Cam was singing live on the ra­dio. When I told them who he was, their faces were shin­ing when they found out he was just an or­di­nary boy like them.’’

Cam would like to con- tinue his in­volve­ment as a vol­un­teer with Ra­dio Lol­lipop when he turns 18.

‘‘I’m not even a proper vol­un­teer now but I still feel like I’m part of the Lol­lipop fam­ily,’’ he says.

His fa­ther Blair MacKenzie says Ra­dio Lol­lipop vol­un­teers are an amaz­ing group of peo­ple.

‘‘They vol­un­teer their time on the wards, or­gan­is­ing games and crafts for the kids, that sort of thing.’’

Ra­dio Lol­lipop is set to re­ceive $30,000 from the regis­tra­tion pro­ceeds of Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays, and Cam and his fam­ily have reg­is­tered with the Ra­dio Lol­lipop team to run along the 8.4km route.

Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays is a joint col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Auck­land Jog­gers Club and Fair­fax Me­dia, owner of the Auck­land City Har­bour News and its par­ent com­pany Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers.

Regis­tra­tion Pro­ceeds will help sup­port Ra­dio Lol­lipop, Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis Auck­land Branch, The Hear­ing House, Crohn’s and Col­i­tis New Zealand, Raukatauri Mu­sic Ther­apy Trust, Kid­sline and Fair­fax First Books.

The event is on March 9 and starts at 9.30am.

Teen singer: Camp­bell MacKenzie is happy to vol­un­teer his time at Ra­dio Lol­lipop.

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