Another firefighter, his daughter was in there; they actually saved her life and now she comes out and helps us collectJohn Vandeven
Ten-year-old Lillian Dyball, of Albury, knows why it's really important to support the Royal Children's Hospital.
"Because all those sick kids need to get better," she said.
But Lil herself has been a regular visitor to the Melbourne facility owing to the arthrogryposis, or joint contracture, that means she uses a wheelchair for mobility.
On Tuesday she spoke to the media as the face of Albury-Wodonga's Good Friday Appeal, an experience she found exciting although "it feels kind of butterflies in my tummy".
Last year Border volunteers from emergency services and service clubs collected $100,000 in Wodonga and $75,000 in Albury, both figures being records the groups aim to break on Friday.
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Albury Civic Fire Station captain John Vandeven said going back 15 years, collectors might be lucky to reach $8000 on the day.
"Now we're getting that just with one truck," he said.
Wodonga Fire Brigade Group deputy group officer Alex Todd said the combined Albury-Wodonga campaign helped boost the tally as did greater community awareness.
"Thank-you to all our volunteers, we couldn't do it without them, we've got about 150 volunteers in Wodonga on Friday," he said.
People are asked to think ahead to have cash ready to donate, although some collection points will also have EFTPOS machines.
Mr Vandeven said the Royal Children's Hospital helped many Border children, including his own, now adult, son.
"Another firefighter, his daughter was in there; they actually saved her life and now she comes out and helps us collect," he said.
Lil's mother Natalie said attending the Melbourne hospital was "a real eye-opener".
"It kind of puts everything in perspective, there's always someone worse off than you," she said. "And the way they all work together, like we'll have four or five appointments in one day."
And the hospital has meerkats and the fun Starlight Express Room.
"There's just so much really good stuff for the kids to do," Ms Dyball said.
"It's not all about going and seeing doctors and the hard work."
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