If ever there’s a family’s story that will remind you to count your blessings as you go to sleep tonight, it’s the Osbornes.
Just over 12 months ago in October 2016, 15-year-old Scott, a very sporty and active teenager, was diagnosed with Myelodysplasia Syndrome with Monosomy 7, or MDS.
To you and me, we know that diagnosis doesn’t sound good.
But, as you move on with your day, swipe to the next story in your news feed, let me tell you what that diagnosis actually means to this beautiful family from Bathurst, New South Wales.
To the Osbornes, a family which lives over 2.5 hours away from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead where Scott’s urgent treatment was required, his familiar life changed immediately.
His diagnosis meant that Scott needed an urgent bone marrow transplant, he had to leave the comfort of his hometown for three months, he had to stop playing sport, he had to leave school, and he had to move away from his friends and family.
To Scott and his family, everything was different from the moment he was diagnosed, nothing stayed the same.
The Osborne’s from Bathurst.
Some patients have to wait for months on end, but Scott was lucky to have the bone marrow transplant in February 2017. You can read more about what’s involved in a bone marrow transplant here.
Once the transplant had taken place, in May 2017 Scott was then able to return home to Bathurst. Since then, he has had to travel back and forth to Westmead for continued monitoring, blood tests, bone marrow biopsies, visits to CHISM, Children’s Hospital Institute of Sports Medicine and receive top-ups of bone marrow when necessary.
Despite spending the past 12 months living a relentless round of hospital visits, tests, procedures, fear and emotional stress, this family doesn’t ever give up.
Even though mum, Vicki, is unable to work, and Scott is highly immune suppressed (which means he can’t be out in public), the family-of-four aren’t eligible for financial assistance, so they must rely on dad, Ted’s, income alone.
On top of the standard costs associated with living, the never-ending medical costs mount quickly and steeply.
Scott needs to remain in complete isolation, so they’re unable to stay at Ronald McDonald House which leaves this gorgeous family with very few options when attending Scott’s medical appointments which are 177 km away from their home.
Thankfully, Heartfelt Homes can provide a solution.
So far, with thanks to Heartfelt Homes’ donors, the Osbornes have stayed at 175 in Westmead (formerly Wesley Lodge), 300 metres from the hospital for a total of 10 ad hoc nights as the family return for their ongoing appointments.
When they must travel back and forth between their regular appointments, we can provide them with a clean, comfortable, and safe place to stay so they can rest and support each other during such an emotional and stressful time.
From having a donation tin on your counter, to holding events, donating in-kind support, and by sharing social media posts and raising awareness, there are many ways that supporters of Heartfelt Homes have helped us say YES to this family when they need our service.
We rely solely on community support, and every single donated dollar makes a significant difference to families like the Osbornes. All donations over $2 are fully tax deductible and making a small donation today will mean we can continue to help families right across Australia.
Families just like yours and mine.
Sadly, the Osborne’s journey is far from over, and Scott continues to undergo medical treatment as we speak.
Please, will you donate to Heartfelt Homes today so we can always say YES to the Osbornes every time they need our help?
“Thanks to Heartfelt Homes, Scott has been able to be at home with friends and family, continue to build up his tennis skills again and have the support of his Bone Marrow Team in Sydney. Thank you” Vicki Osborne, November 2017.
To donate to Heartfelt Homes, please click here. To find out how you can support Heartfelt Homes in another way that suits you or your business, please contact Fiona MacAnally on 0478 111 508.
We can’t do it without you.