A decade ago Kelly Foran's life was turned upside down.
The commodity trader, based in Maules Creek, was 36 weeks pregnant with her first child when she was diagnosed with a massive brain tumour.
It was just the start of a series of health crises.
Months later, her baby Jake was himself diagnosed with life-threatening cancer. It was completely unrelated to her tumour.
After months in hospital, spending time in seven hospitals in two states, the rural family knew how hard things could be for those inside the big metropolitan hospitals for people from outside the cities.
"My husband had never been to Sydney before in his life," she said.
"I was 27 and had never been to [a metropolitan] hospital in my life."
Mrs Foran decided to do something about it.
Ten years later, the Friendly Faces, Helping Hands Foundation she created has been nominated for the NSW Health Awards.
The organisation helps connect rural people with services hospitals provide, but often never let them know about.
Even information as simple as the best place to park can simply be a mystery to people from the bush. Friendly Faces, Helping Hands helps them learn.
The charity has a diverse range of strategies, everything from offering free phones to a hotline, to helping to connect specific individuals with services they need.
Mrs Foran said last month, she was contacted by a Bourke family which couldn't make it to Sydney to see their dying father. She connected them with a Dubbo aeroclub. A local volunteer flew them to Bankstown in his light plane.
"People want to help", she said.
"They just don't know how to help. And when you ask and you're fair dinkum people go - 'I could do that'."
After nearly ten years in business, the charity caught the eye of the head honchos at the Agency of Clinical Innovation, following a speech by Mrs Foran.
The charity asked for a number of changes, including for hospitals to mark rural-based patients as being from the bush. They also asked for the state government to help bring their central portal of information to more people.
Mrs Foran said the charity has seen a 66 per cent increase in traffic for their website as a result of the agency's efforts.
Taking home the prize would "put it out to so many more people" and bring awareness of what they do, she said.
"The sky's the limit, it really is," she said.
The awards ceremony will take place in early 2022.
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