There would be few, if any, more worthy recipients of an award to honour the state’s most inspiring women than East Maitland's Samantha Meyn.
Mrs Meyn was named Maitland’s Local Woman of the Year yesterday by Maitland MP Robyn Robyn and today will receive her award from NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell at a special reception at Parliament House in Sydney.
Together with her husband David, Mrs Meyn has turned personal tragedy into a lifelong commitment to making a difference.
Following the loss of their son Harry, who died seven months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, Mrs Meyn set up a foundation in his name which has raised more than $100,000 for children’s cancer charities including Camp Quality, Kids with Cancer and Cure for Life.
Harry’s House at Stockton was also established as a retreat for families with children living with cancer or for families grieving the loss of a child to cancer.
The pain that the Meyn family experienced following the death of their beloved Harry is something that few us can imagine.
The strength that Mrs Meyn then showed to selflessly turn their grief and harrowing experience into something that would ease the burden and anguish of other parents is truly inspirational.
There is one school of thought that would suggest that in this day and age of equality, special awards for women, as is International Women’s Day tomorrow, outdated.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Mrs Meyn’s story should serve as an inspiration to all NSW women – and men, as well.
It clearly shows that ordinary people can achieve truly extraordinary feats.
Hers is a story of triumph over tragedy and the benefit that her tireless work has brought to all people – men, woman and children – affected by cancer, deserves recognition.
On behalf of all Maitland residents, three cheers for Harry’s mum.