Teenager singing inspiration for Starship listeners
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.