Leukaemia Foundation

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A place to call home when life changes in an instant

Publish Date: 31/1/2018

Your donations at work: Accommodation came just at the right time for Geraldton-based Gary and his family when he was diagnosed with blood cancer.

As Gary was emergency airlifted to Perth from Geraldton in regional Western Australia, he knew something wasn’t right, but he certainly did not expect his life, and that of his small family, to change so quickly.

Within hours of arriving in Perth, Gary was told he had a life threatening condition, chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), a type of blood cancer requiring immediate and ongoing treatment in Perth.

“At first we had to get a bit creative with accommodation,” Gary’s wife, Sharen explained.  “We put Ella into boarding school in Geraldton hoping to maintain a sense of normality for her, and I came down to Perth with Gary.”

It soon became clear the severity of Gary’s treatment meant they would need to relocate to Perth for much longer than first anticipated.

“I rang a lot of places but they just weren’t suitable for us with a teenage daughter.  When I found the Leukaemia Foundation it was like a weight was lifted.  They understood Gary’s needs, they even helped me find a place for Ella in a great school in Perth,” Sharen said.

Thanks to your donations, Gary, Sharen and Ella stayed in our accommodation in Perth for four months at no cost through the Foundation’s accommodation program.  Here they could be together and have close access to Gary’s ongoing treatment.

“It all happened so fast, not only did Gary have to stop working, but I also had to give up work.  Suddenly you find yourself with no income, but the bills keep coming,” Sharen said. “The home we were provided by the Leukaemia Foundation relieved a great weight from our shoulders, both financial and emotional.” 

Throughout this ordeal Gary’s family remain stoic in their resolve to stay together.  They recently moved to Tasmania to be near their extended family, and continue to focus on beating his cancer one day at a time.

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