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A Determined Brass Bloke
August 6, 2015
Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine
Men who, despite adversity, find the time, courage and inspiration to help others have the character traits of a genuine Brass Bloke! The 2015 winner Phil Camden says “I may have MND but MND does not have me!”
Throughout the community there are many men who have overcome adversity in their lives and gone on to contribute to the community through selfless service. Lifeline Newcastle for thirteen years has honoured women who have faced the same adversity and given back to the community with their annual Steel Magnolia Award and so decided to honour the men of the Hunter Region with the concept of the annual Brass Blokes Award.
The second annual event was held on Friday 17th July at Panthers Newcastle and all five finalists, Gary Brown, Phil Camden, Steve Harrison, Luke Reynolds-McFadden and Mark Hughes were very deserving in their own right.
Before the announcement of the winner, 170 guests were treated to an inspirational and entertaining 20-minute in-depth insight into the lives of the guest panellists Kurt Fearnley, Mark Hughes and Nic Newling, mediated by Brett Lavaring.
However, Phil Camden was given the honour for his compassion and determination in making a difference to others in the face of his own grief and health challenges…
MND sufferer honoured for fundraising to find cure
July 17, 2015
SINCE being given two to three years to live, Redhead’s Phil Camden has raised $30,000 for motor neurone disease research and was honoured with Lifeline’s Brass Bloke award on Friday.
Mr Camden started attending church with his mother as a 13-year-old boy after his parents’ marriage dissolved due to domestic violence, alcoholism and gambling.
Their faith turned both Mr Camden and his mother’s life around, prompting Mr Camden to become a pastor.
While helping many people lead healthier, more fulfilling lives, Mr Camden was dealt the blow of his brother’s suicide in 2007 and his own diagnosis of motor neurone disease in 2013.
He was given two to three years to live at the time.
‘‘I may have MND, but MND does not have me,’’ he said on Friday.
Mr Camden has continued to write a blog called ‘‘Fridays with Phil’’ and is still a regular speaker at his church and various fundraisers.
Having already raised more than $30,000 towards MND research, he hopes to live long enough to find a cure.
Mr Camden was one of five finalists honoured at a gala dinner on Friday.
Full article here.
Pastor named Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter’s 2015 Brass Bloke
July 21, 2015
REDHEAD pastor and father of two Phil Camden has been named the winner of Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter’s 2015 Brass Bloke award.
At the award ceremony on Friday night, Pastor Camden was commended for his compassion and determination in making difference to others in the face of his own grief and health challenges.
Pastor Camden grew up in a highly dysfunctional household surrounded by alcoholism, gambling and domestic violence.
His parents separated when he was 13 and he and his mother started attending church, which turned both their lives around.
Since 1990 Pastor Camden has been a pastor in a number of churches, the most recent being at Church 180 in Newcastle.
In 2007 he lost a brother to suicide.
But a bigger blow came in 2013 when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), for which there is no cure.
At age 53, in 2013, he was given only two or three years to live.
Pastor Camden writes a blog called Fridays with Phil, which is read by thousands every week.
He also speaks at church, MND groups and other organisations all over Australia raising awareness of MND and other serious illnesses.
In the past two years Pastor Camden has raised more than $30,000 towards MND research.
Full article here.
Ill Pastor tells of life with MND
29 April, 2013
POPULAR Church180 senior pastor Phil Camden has spoken about being diagnosed with motor neurone disease ahead of a national week dedicated to finding a cure for the crippling illness.
“I’d never heard of MND. When the doctor first suggested I had it, I googled and was numb to read that most people die within two to five years of diagnosis,” Pastor Camden said.
“Worst still is being locked in a body that becomes totally paralysed while your mind and eyes see and understand all that is happening.’’
The father of two and keen athlete said he first realised something was wrong when he struggled to complete his regular run along Redhead Beach.
‘‘I had lost lots of strength and walking up stairs became a real problem,’’ he said.
The 53-year-old initially thought he was having hip problems but just two days before Christmas last year he was informed that he had motor neurone disease (MND) – an unstoppable, progressive disease with no effective treatment or cure.
‘‘I’m certainly living every day with new perspective on life,’’ he said.
‘‘My wife and daughters have been a tremendous strength, as has my faith.’’
Following his diagnosis, Pastor Camden resigned from senior positions within the Australian Christian Churches and stepped down from his role on Heads of Churches Newcastle but continues to deliver his Sunday sermons. Three hundred people from the church joined the recent Hunter region Walk to D’Feet MND and raised over $20,000 to help researchers find a cure.
“Whilst hoping for my miracle, I am also trying to help as many other people as I can in dealing with this disease and its outcomes as well as trying to speed up the awareness and research for a cure,” Pastor Camden said.
During national MND Week (May 5-11), people touched by MND will remember those who have died, and work towards a better future for the 1500 Australians with MND.
Full article here.
Time to reflect and act – Motor Neurone Disease Week 2013
Motor Neurone Disease Media
06 May, 2013
During national MND Week (5–11 May) people impacted by motor neurone disease (MND) will be demanding a fair care system and shouting out for a cure to free the world from this fatal disease.
MND is an indiscriminate killer that can strike men or women, young or old, from any country, race or demographic. It paralyses a person’s body before finally stealing their ability to breathe. MND is a puzzling disease with no effective treatment and no cure.
Pastor Phil Camden from Newcastle, who was diagnosed with MND earlier this year has a pragmatic approach to raising awareness.
“We are not expected to live long with this disease so everyone needs to do their bit and be ready to grab the baton from those who ran the race before them and keep the pressure up,” says Ps Camden.
Full article here.
Media Release: Praying for a miracle and campaigning for a cure for motor neurone disease, May 2013
When Pastor Phil Camden delivers his Sunday sermon to a large congregation in Newcastle, it’s hard to believe that this charismatic 53 year old is gripped by a disease that will rob him of his ability to move, speak, swallow and breathe.
Ps Camden has motor neurone disease (MND), an indiscriminate killer that can strike men or women, young or old, from any country, race or demographic. MND is an unstoppable, progressive disease with no effective treatment or cure.
“I’d never heard of MND. When the doctor first suggested I had it, I googled and was numb to read that most people die within 2–5 years of diagnosis,” says Ps Camden.
“Worst still, is being locked in a body that becomes totally paralysed while your mind and eyes see and understand all that is happening. MND has been likened to slowly being buried alive in your own body.
“I hate the thought of the process of death, but I do not fear death itself. To tell you the truth, my diagnosis with MND has only strengthened my faith in God. I am staring death in the face and my faith stands the test and is strong.”
Full media release here: MND Media Release