Even though he is only 17 years old, Emmanuel Kelly has taken Australia by storm this fall with his X Factor performances. But he says all of his success could not have happened without his mom, Moira Kelly. `My hero would have to be my mother. She worked extremely hard to change my life hugely,` Emmanuel told X Factor judges before his first performance in September. Moira, 47, has given her adult life to helping disadvantaged children around the world, including working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. `Moira is very determined, very single-minded and, sometimes, challenging too,` chuckles Margaret Smith, a good friend of Moira`s for over 27 years, who also serves as chief executive of her charity, the Children First Foundation. `Her Catholic faith has been her driving force to keep going and keep doing all this in New York`s Bronx, Calcutta, the Kalahari, Western Australia and all around the world.` The Foundation describes its mission as transforming `the lives of children who need us most by giving hope, exceptional care and pathways to a brighter future.` Their `Miracle Smiles` program brings children in need of life-saving or life-changing surgery from the developing world to Australia to receive the care they need. Because of her desire to help children in such dire straights, Moira went to war-torn Iraq in the mid 1990s. While she was there Moira came across Emmanuel and his brother Ahmed in an orphanage run by Mother Teresa`s Missionaries of Charity. The baby boys had been found by the nuns in a shoe box in a Baghdad park. Both were suffering from limb deficiencies because of chemical warfare. `It was like looking at an angel when mum, Moira Kelly, walked through the orphanage door,` Emmanuel told the talent show judges. `She brought us both to Australia for surgery originally and then mum sort of fell in love with both of us.` Soon thereafter, Moira became legal guardian for both boys. `I think one of the most wonderful things about Moira is that she accepts every child is accepted for who they are,` said her friend Margaret. `It takes a gutsy person to devote their life in this way rather than go out and earn a big salary.` With the love and support of Moira, 19-year-old Ahmed has now set his sights on a swimming gold in the 2012 Paralympics in London. Meanwhile, Emmanuel is contemplating a music career, despite his exit from X Factor. `Moira is thrilled to bits. We all are,` said Magaret, `it`s been a wonderful exercise for him. `He knows he`s going to have to work at it very hard but we`ve always known he`s got a wonderful voice.` Please click on the link below to view and be inspired by Emmanuel Kelly.

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