HE’S one of the nation’s most-revered sporting heroes, a steely nerved batsman with a ferocious competitive streak.
But there’s one thing that inspires cricketing legend Steve Waugh just as much as leading his country or scoring a ton – helping battling Aussie families.
Speaking to The Leader yesterday, Mr Waugh said it was “gratifying and humbling” to help improve the lives of families like the Jachims from Tamworth.
The Steve Waugh Foundation, which raises money to help with the treatment and cure of rare childhood diseases, last month made a donation to the Jachims, whose youngest son, Aiden, suffers from a rare gastrointestinal disease.
Eight-year-old Aiden is one of only 2000 children worldwide with hollow visceral myopathy, a condition that has him locked in a state of constant discomfort and pain – and one that has limited his life expectancy to between 15 and 25 years.
“We’re the last port of call for a lot of these families – they feel like the health system has let them down,” Mr Waugh said.
“They’re left to their own devices. I’ve always firmly believed Aussies need to look after Aussies.”
He said meeting children like Aiden and families like the Jachims was “truly inspiring”.
The foundation’s donation to the Jachims allowed them to buy a roof pod and roof racks for their car to carry Aiden’s special equipment, a wheelchair to transport him in when he isn’t well and new bedding.
“We are so grateful for what Steve has done. It’s enabled us to travel as a family much more freely,” Aiden’s mum, Belinda Jachim, said.