The All Blacks are among a number of Kiwi household names sporting white armbands in support of child charity Cure Kids.

The charity, which has a vision to "find cures for kids", has launched a campaign, in partnership with the national team and New Zealand Rugby, to raise awareness around the need to invest in medical research.

"It is about getting New Zealanders to make personal connections between the crucial research that Cure Kids funds and the difference it makes in the lives of the children and young people they know," said the charity.

All Black Ben Smith, 30, said the campaign, called, "everybody knows somebody", provided him with an eye-opening experience as he met some of the children the charity was fighting to help.


"It makes you realise just how much some kids go through."

London-based Kiwi musician Shelton Woolright, 31, who had been supporting the charity for a few years, said the charity's vision was "really personal" for him.

London-based Kiwi musician Shelton Woolright gets behind Cure Kids' latest campaign. Photo / Supplied
London-based Kiwi musician Shelton Woolright gets behind Cure Kids' latest campaign. Photo / Supplied

He was close-friends with Eva Mitchell, 8, one of the charity's child ambassadors, who was born with only half a diaphragm and is prone to a number of life-threatening complications.

"We've got a special relationship; we will just hang out; we will go shopping; she'll take me to her doll's house.

"We'll be watching TV and she'll just have to change her line," he said. "It's quite hard to watch, but it's amazing to see how she loves life."

He hoped the campaign would help raise awareness for children, like Eva, who were living with incurable and sometimes terminal conditions.

Cure Kids CEO Frances Benge said almost every New Zealander would know of a young person in need of a cure or better treatment for a serious health condition.

She used the example of the progress made in treating cystic fibrosis as being a "compelling case for the direct impact research can have".


"Four decades ago, a child born with cystic fibrosis had a life expectancy of only eight to 10 years. Now, as a result of world-leading research programmes in both diagnostics and treatment, the average life expectancy is 37-plus years and climbing."

Since the charity was established in 1971 it had invested more than $38 million into child health research that's translated into medical advances in the treatment of children.

Kiwis wanting to get involved can tape up their own arms with the name of someone they know who needs a cure and share this on social media, using the hashtags: #Curekids and #ConnecttotheCure.

To back the cause go to