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.