You probably saw Samuel Johnson make headlines a few weeks ago when he won the Gold Logie for his performance for the TV mini series Molly. Rather than the expected thank you speech, he chose to put the spotlight on his sister Connie. He spoke about her brave fight with cancer, the Love Your Sister charity and a plug for the Big Heart Project which aims to break the Guinness Book of Records for the longest line of 5c coins forming the shape of a love heart. The project kicks off this coming Wednesday the 10th May in Canberra with the goal of raising $1m towards cancer research and we will be there to support them as well as giving our little heart project the chance to soar too!
I had the privilege of meeting Samuel several weeks ago to take his Heart Imprints for my “A heart as big as yours” artwork (which aims to raise $100k for Love Your Sister) I was instructed that I had a 10 minute window with him as he had just flown in from Melbourne for an awards ceremony in Sydney. As timing would have it, it was also the day that I had my two girls with me so I begged my brother to help me so that I could look professional enough for Samuel to take me seriously. Ha!
Everything was going to plan, Matt had taken the girls for a walk while I waited in the lobby for Samuel to arrive. Finally we locked eyes and gave each other a big smile. We sat down and I talked quickly about my project and what it involved. I was under pressure knowing that I was on the clock and my girls would start searching for me at any given moment. “Forget the time” he said softly “let’s talk about what you want so I can do my best to help you.” He immediately put me at ease and I couldn’t be more grateful. So for the next 25 mins we talked about my plans for the artwork and I mentioned that I was taking 12 months off to work on the project. It was then that he got out of his seat and gave me the biggest longest bear hug anyone could ever ask for. “I remember when I took 12 months off” he said under his breath (still hugging) By that he was referring to his remarkable Guinness Book of Records unicycle ride around Australia in 2014 where he raised a whopping $1.4m for the Garvan Institute.
I asked him about Connie and her health to which he replied “she’s not good Marie, this will be the year I lose her as she has stopped treatment”. There was a pain in his eyes that I’ll never forget. At that point I had not met Connie as she was too sick to take any appointments. Knowing how crucial her Imprints were for the artwork he took it upon himself to call his assistant while I waited. This call opened the door for me to meet his beloved sister 2 weeks later.
Towards the end of our conversation I took his Heart Imprints and he autographed a few bits and pieces for me. He was even kind enough to leave his direct contact details so I could keep in touch. I was truly blown away by his humility, warmth and down right humanity. In the distance I could hear the familiar squeals of my girls as they ran down the lobby entrance, my brother unable to contain them any longer. “I’m so sorry.. they’re my children you can hear” I said nervously. Samuel’s demeanor changed completely and laughed, he beamed from ear to ear and was so happy to see the girls and immediately started talking and playing with them. Kids have a sense for kind hearted souls so there was no doubt in my mind that they would love him.
When Millie my eldest asked who Samuel was I described him as mummy’s super hero and I meant every word. For someone as talented and accomplished as Samuel he has put his professional life on hold so he can be 100% present for his sister and the Love Your Sister charity. Love comes in many shapes and forms but to see this powerful kind of love exist gives me hope in the world my children will grow up in. It is this love that inspired me to embark on this year long project in the first place and I pray with all my heart that Connie will be here to see it complete. If you would like to be part of this life changing artwork and would like to donate your heart click here as we would love to hear from you.
Lots of love,
Please visit Love Your Sister for more information on this on this amazing charity.