Laura Shakespeare was one of many recipients of support from the Men of League Foundation this year, with the organisation distributing over $1 million to men, women and children in the rugby league community.
In 2018 the Foundation set a new high for spending in a single year since it was founded in 2002 by former 'Team of the Century' back-rower Ron Coote, former Canterbury prop and then judiciary commissioner Jim Hall and former Canterbury and Manly back Max Brown.
When the organisation began it aimed to lend a helping hand to old playing mates who were facing tough times but since then it has grown to assist more than just players, supporting members of the rugby league community who are faced with physical, financial or emotional hardship.
Shakespeare said the Foundation had had a significant impact on her mental and physical well-being, allowing her to solely focus on her recovery.
"The Men of League Foundation have been such a blessing to me and my family and will forever hold a special spot in mine and my children's hearts," Shakespeare said.
"Mentally and emotionally my wounds were healed after the Men of League Foundation contacted me.
"I feel at ease knowing I can concentrate on putting all my strength into my recovery."
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg commended the Foundation for its efforts in making a significant difference to the lives of people in the rugby league community.
"This wonderful milestone is a true testament to the dedication of the Men of League Foundation's members, volunteers and staff and the hard work that they have put in for 2018," Greenberg said.
"They continue to pledge their support to not just past players of the game, but anyone with a connection to the great game of rugby league.
"On behalf of the National Rugby League, I would like to congratulate them for their outstanding work and we look forward to supporting the Foundation again in 2019."
To become a member of the Men of League Foundation or to show your support to those who are facing tough times, donate today at www.menofleague.com.