Australian cricketer Cameron Merchant is trying his hand at reality romance on the new season of Married At First Sight, but there's one person his bride will really need to work hard to impress: his dear mum. The pair have an unshakeable bond, after navigating through many difficult life obstacles together.
Cameron's family trip to Thailand quickly turned into a nightmare when the Boxing Day tsunami hit South East Asia in 2004.
The MAFS star was separated from his parents for nine hours, and unsurprisingly, he feared he'd never see them again.
But his mum Margaret says she sensed her son was safe.
"We have an amazing aura between us," Margaret tells TV WEEK.
Just years before disaster struck, Cam, 34, was faced with losing his beloved mother once more.
In 2000, Margaret had a colonoscopy that went wrong. Aged 16 at the time, Cameron had to leave his high school and friends in Sydney behind to move to the Gold Coast with his family to help Margaret with her recovery. At one point, Margaret's weight plummeted to just 41kg and she also lost her children's manchester business in the process.
Later in 2010, the family were dealt their biggest obstacle yet, when Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer. Cameron, who was living in Canada at the time, immediately feared the worst.
"It was hard to process – you never think it'll happen to you, but it does," Cameron, 34, tells TV WEEK. "You just have to accept it. You know it's a road nobody wants to go down, but you have no choice.
"I knew I had to be twice as strong as mum. I had no excuse for showing any signs of weakness. I had to be completely optimistic and positive for her. It definitely brought us closer."
In a ray of positive news, after undergoing treatment Margaret has now been given the all-clear.
But given everything the close mother and son have been through, this has made Cameron's decision to be on Married At First Sight to find "The One" – and fulfil his mum's dream of becoming a grandmother – even more poignant.
Needless to say, Cam's new bride will certainly need Margaret's seal of approval.
"It'd be tricky [if they didn't get on]," the star says. "Mum is a huge part of my life!"