Recognising the bravery of kids with life-limiting illnesses

Recognising the bravery of kids with life-limiting illnesses

Photo of patient at Bear Cottage dressed up for Superhero Week.

Walking through the corridors of Bear Cottage are superheroes who aren’t defined by wearing capes but instead by the extraordinary amount of bravery and courage they use to face some of life’s biggest battles. 

One of those superheroes is two-year-old Portia. Four days before her first birthday, Portia went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick on life support. She was left with a hypoxic brain injury, cerebral palsy and cortical vision impairment, affecting her ability to move her body and breathe independently.

With Portia requiring around-the-clock care, her family turned to Bear Cottage to help prepare them for their new life at home.

“Bear Cottage is an amazing place and brings so much joy to so many children and families. Having the support of Bear Cottage gives parents and families a home away from home and a place to have a much-needed rest and break,” Megan, Portia’s mum said.   


This July, Portia and her family are calling on the community to get their capes on for Superhero Week to help families like theirs.  

Held from 23 July – 29 July, Superhero Week is Bear Cottage’s largest annual fundraising appeal, raising essential funds for NSW’s only children’s hospice.  

NSW Health Minister, Ryan Park, kicked off the week with a $25,000 donation from the NSW Government at the annual Superhero Party.

“I am proud of the exceptional care provided to children and their families at Bear Cottage and humbled to see the superhuman strength, bravery and resilience these families show every day,” Mr Park said.

“It is wonderful to work in partnership with the community to provide this invaluable service to the children and families who need it most.”

Photo of Minister Park presenting the Superhero Award for 2023, to Bear Cottage volunteer, Julie Jennings.

The event saw every Bear Cottage patient receive a bravery medal in the Superhero Awards ceremony, presented by NSW Fire and Rescue Assistant Commissioner Greg Penney and Minister Park.

Minister Park also presented the Superhero Award for 2023, awarding it to Bear Cottage volunteer, Julie Jennings. This award recognises a team member who has made a significant impact at Bear Cottage and has used their superhero powers to support the children and their families.

Every year Bear Cottage supports more than 250 families, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing support, respite and end-of-life care to children from right across NSW and beyond.

"Bear Cottage is there to provide a real sanctuary for patients and families who are dealing with the most heartbreaking circumstances," Narelle Martin, Nurse Manager of Bear Cottage said.

"Bear Cottage provides not only the best medical care, but also gives families time together to create special memories."

This year, Superhero Week is aiming to raise $250,000 to help ensure Bear Cottage can continue providing support, respite and end of life care to sick children and their families during their time of need. To show your support, visit