So, who did you Zoom with today? A family in Googong this week had an online meeting with none other than Hollywood star Eva Mendes.
The 2 Fast 2 Furious star, also a mum of two daughters with actor partner Ryan Gosling, has been named Australia's McHappy Day ambassador in the lead-up to McHappy Day on November 14.
On Tuesday, she spoke at length with the Gregg family of Googong, calling in via Zoom from Los Angeles, to raise their spirits and encourage donations for McHappy Day, which benefits the Ronald McDonald House charities. Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have prevented Mendes from coming to Australia, so she is performing her duties remotely.
Little Connor Gregg, just 2 years old, has to date had 15 surgeries to treat a severe bowel condition. His family has spent more than 100 nights in a Ronald McDonald House in Sydney while Connor is treated at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, his care needs not available in Canberra.
Mendes put the children at ease by telling them her daughters Esmeralda, 6, and Amada, 4, loved unicorns, but also something very Australian.
"I've just been introduced to the show. My girls, they really love it. It's called Bluey. Do you watch Bluey?" Mendes said, to the children's great delight.
"Yes, we love Bluey. Sometimes when my kids watch Bluey they feel inspired to play a lot of jokes on their mum and dad. You guys feel that way too?"
Mrs Gregg, who works in retail at the Australian War Memorial, said the star showed great empathy to them, speaking with them for more than 40 minutes. She had been packing an order at work when the Ronald McDonald House manager rang to ask if the family would like to speak to Mendes.
"I was like, 'Really?!'," she said, laughing.
"She's so down to earth and you can see she genuinely cares. And she's stunning. She's got the same beauty spot as Lola, too."
Mendes, 46, said she was excited to be the McHappy Day Ambassador because it was a charity she believed in. Her cousin had received held from a Ronald McDonald House when her cousin's son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and the family had to relocate from California to New York.
"Of course, I'd heard about Ronald McDonald Houses before but I never knew to the extent of how important a role they play in helping families with sick or severely injured children It was mind-blowing," Mendes said.
"She had everything she needed under one roof. She had her family together, she had meals in place, she had programs for siblings, she had movie nights. It was amazing to know she was taken care in that way and there was a charity I could support because I knew they were doing the work."
The Ronald McDonald House has been a home away from home for the Gregg family since February, 2019.
It helped the family to stay together as Connor faced one hurdle after another. He was born seven weeks premature and soon after birth stopped breathing and was put on life support. He survived but was diagnosed with a severe condition meaning he has never been able to open his bowel unassisted. It's still unknown if he ever will be able to.
"They've never seen it to this extent and this severe," she said.
Mrs Gregg said the Ronald McDonald House staff became like family and it was a relief not to have think of day-to-day things such as meals and accommodation. Staying together as a family made a big difference.
"Massively. Because my daughter and son are very, very close," she said.
They would be back at Ronald McDonald House in Sydney next week for more meetings with surgeons at the hospital.
They were also buoyed by the fact Connor remained a happy little boy.
"He's our fighter," Mrs Gregg said.
The family said it was emotional to meet with Mendes as they'd never spoken publicly about their son.
Mendes said she could only imagine what parents with sick children went through and it was also heart-rending for her to meet with families.
She told the Greggs she and her Gosling were with them.
"Whitney and Dave, I send you all my love and support from me and from my partner Ryan Gosling. From our family to ours, just so much love, all our support and we're here," Mendes said.
Australians can support McHappy Day - and families like the Greggs - now by picking up a pair of silly socks or a helping hand or by making a donation at their local McDonald's. And on McHappy Day - on November 14 - $2 from every Big Mac sold goes directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities.