Mick Fanning has selflessly donated his $75,000 appearance fee for his exclusive interview with 60 Minutes to Ballina shark attack survivor Mathew Lee.
Channel Nine boss David Gyngell – a surfer himself – has also personally donated an additional $25,000 to assist Mr Lee, who remains in Gold Coast University Hospital after being attacked by a 4m great white while bodyboarding at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach last month.
Prior to the interview going to air a message was posted on the official Mathew Lee official Facebook support page thanking Fanning and Gyngell for their generosity.
“Mick Fanning and David Gyngell. No words can describe how grateful we are for the generous donation. Make sure you tune in to 60minutes tonight at 9pm to get the full interview.”
The Courier Mail earlier reported that Mick had wished to visit Mr Lee in hospital for the segment but Mr Lee required more surgery and the meeting could not occur.
The three-time world champion revealed to 60 Minutesjournalist Peter Stefanovic, he is still coming to terms with his shark attack in the final of the J-Bay Open and is planning to seek psychological counseling to help move on.
“I guess when something like this happens, you’re in your own mind, and your mind can play tricks on your,” said Fanning. “Your mind can … turn shadows into demons, or stuff like that.
“And then you sort of have like different self-doubts, and like, why did I get away with that?”
“I’m going to seek help for sure. I think it’s the only way to deal with it.”
Ironically during Mick’s first surf back at Hasting Point – south of the Gold Coast – he was chased out of the water by a shark scrambling to the safety of a jetski.
Fanning also revealed he plans to compete at the Billabong Pro Tahiti which will be held August 14 – 25.
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