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The National Rugby League has united behind a unique fundraising initiative launched yesterday, Curing Homesickness.

Designed and coordinated by Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation, this unique campaign unites children’s hospitals across Australia in the mission to cure homesickness, so kids can get back home sooner.

A child may be there for a day, a week or even months, and they may be there for many different reasons, but there’s something all kids in hospital suffer from: homesickness.

Fifty per cent of children in hospital are reported to suffer from moderate to high levels of homesickness. By raising money to tackle it head on for the first time, the Curing Homesickness campaign will be helping every child in hospital, ensuring the very best equipment, research and services are available to get them back home sooner.

“There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing such brave kids in hospital doing it tough and missing the comforts of home,” Mr Greenberg said.

“Their resilience in tough circumstances often provides inspiration to our players on the field when they visit them in hospitals throughout the year and around the country. But now it’s time for the rugby league community to return the favour off the field - to dig deep and help cure homesickness.”

Nicola Stokes, CEO at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation said, “We know that kids get homesick when they are in hospital, but homesickness isn’t always recognised as a serious complication or illness, and this is the first time it has been the focus of a fundraising campaign to address it.

“We developed the idea because our Foundation was exploring how we could make more of a difference to the emotional wellbeing of sick kids, as well as raising funds for vital equipment, ground-breaking research and excellent clinical care. When I shared our idea with colleagues at other hospital foundations across Australia, they wanted to be involved and they immediately offered to collaborate with us to deliver national impact for every child and every community.”

Donations will go towards helping kids in hospital get back home, where they belong, by investing in ground-breaking research, state-of-the-art technology, and the amazing doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who deliver the care children need.

Funds will be also used to cure homesickness by making kids feel more at home during their hospital stay, developing services to connect kids to home and improve the emotional wellbeing of kids in hospital.

The campaign focuses on a short film about a young girl in hospital named Ali, who misses her mum’s “Sause”, as it reminds her of being at home with her family.

Featuring celebrity cameos and demonstrating the power of social media, it is hoped that life will imitate art with all of Australia helping spread the message about curing homesickness.

Other companies involved in the campaign include Coles, The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, eBay, Assembly Label, Hyundai and Pasta Pantry.

The NRL is calling on the community to make a difference to sick children’s lives by donating online at CuringHomesickness.org

Follow the campaign on: 
Instagram: @curinghomesickness
Use the hashtag: #CuringHomesickness
Facebook: /CuringHomesickness
Twitter: @CHomesickness