WHEN veteran journalist Ray Martin comes to the city later this month, he'll not only catch up with a firm friend but also help raise money to fund his ongoing treatment.
Ray will be the guest speaker at a gala dinner as part of the Mid North Coast Community Care Options conference.
His appearance will serve as a fundraiser for local battler Connor Maclean, who suffers from a range of debilitating conditions and lives in constant pain.
Ray produced a story on Connor for 60 Minutes and has kept in contact with him.
Now 16, Connor has endured more than 60 operations and has only just returned home after a six-month stay in hospital due to major gastro intestinal complications.
He and his mum and sole carer Cheryl now need to travel to America to access specialist treatments that are not available in Australia.
"It is difficult as we have always tried to be independent and make our own way, but I have to admit now we would appreciate some help," Cheryl said.
"The trip to the US for Connor's treatment will be very expensive but necessary if Connor is to regain better health and some quality of life.
Adding to the challenges Connor and his mum face, Cheryl recently broke her foot, and her shop, Harmony Boutique, was wiped out in the Rivers fire.
Hopefully, Ray Martin's visit will mark a turning point for them. "Connor is an absolute champion and a great friend," Ray said.
"He laughs and sings through the toughest times and he's had plenty of them. Please be generous because he always is."
For tickets ($125) to the gala dinner on Thursday, October 17, call Mid North Coast Community Care Options on 6650 2000.
All proceeds from ticket sales will go to Connor.