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July 7, 2004

Origin's hard man shows his softer side

From: Sunshine Coast Daily, Australia - Jul 7, 2004

TRY as they might, New South Wales State of Origin players were never able to find a chink in the armour of invincible Queensland rugby league star Wally Lewis. But at yesterday's Nambour launch of McDonald's "McHappy Time" fundraising campaign for the Hear and Say centres, the man they call "The King" choked back tears recalling the first time his daughter Jamie-Lee heard him say hello.
"It was the most emotional day of my life when Jamie-Lee (born profoundly deaf) switched on her cochlear implant and heard me speak for the first time," Wally said. Now 14, Jamie-Lee is in New Zealand representing Queensland at water polo, speaking to her parents regularly about what a great time she's having. "I would never have believed that would be possible... and it never would have been without the assistance of the Hear and Say organisation," Wally added. While the parents and guests hung on his every word, they also marvelled at the courage of 10-year-old Casey Raymond.

© 2004 Sunshine Coast Daily