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Celebrating 22 years of Little Heroes Foundation

Today is our 22nd birthday and what a ride it has been!

We started as a small foundation, that worked to raise funds to provide essential equipment and facilities for children living with cancer. Many of you may know our story, but for those who don’t, we think HG Nelson summed it up best:

“Two Boofhead Footballers using their Mugs to raise money for Crook kids” – HG Nelson

Shortly after the inception of the Adelaide Crows, two of South Australia’s finest sporting heroes Chris McDermott and Tony McGuinness met two young boys named Nathan and Nicholas.

Chris and Tony developed a strong friendship with the young boys over the next two and a half years, discovering that Nathan had been living with a brain tumour that had plagued his young life, and Nicholas had been diagnosed with kidney cancer.

Unfortunately, both boys passed away from their conditions.

Chris and Tony were so touched by the boys’ brave struggles that their passing inspired them to launch the McGuinness McDermott Foundation, with the aim of improving on existing support services and facilities for children and their families who had been diagnosed with cancer or serious illness.

In tribute to Nicholas and Nathan, the Playdeck café funded by Little Heroes Foundation in 2006 at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital was named the ‘NicNat’ Café.

To this day, children remain the inspiration behind everything Little Heroes Foundation does.

Our projects and programs are researched and implemented as part of our ongoing vision, to ensure seriously ill children have access to the very best care. Each new venture continues to be inspired by our ‘Little Heroes’.

Over the years, we have contributed over $20 million towards new equipment and facilities at Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH), which has funded major pieces of equipment and refurbishments, including:

  • Ronald McDonald Clinic
  • Two MRI Machines (one with an ambient lighting package)
  • Endoscopic Theatre Suite
  • Playdeck and adjoining ‘NicNath’ Cafe
  • Michael Rice Centre for Haematology and Oncology
  • Centre for Robotics and Innovation

In 2011, we also launched our support program called Little Heroes Care, to help families with the day-to-day routines, that now include many appointments, test and sometimes lengthy stays at the hospital. This program has moved our focus back to those who need our support – the families.

On reflection, it’s been an interesting journey to our 22nd birthday, but it’s one we wouldn’t trade for the world.

P.S. You know you’re old when the photos from when you started are in black and white!! (Sorry Chris ????)