Back in 2013, I was raising our kids, Kitty and Banjo who were aged two and three-years-old respectfully. I’d given up full-time work as a hairdresser to be a mum but was still cutting the hair of friends and family around Lennox Head just to keep my skills up to scratch for a career I knew I’d go back into eventually.
My partner, Andy, was doing well as a self-employed carpenter when everything suddenly changed.
Andy had been at the doctor’s after a bout of sickness that he was struggling to recover from and as soon as he walked through the door I knew it was bad news.
As my world crashed down around me, Andy went on to tell me that he had to get to Brisbane for treatment as soon as possible.
From that moment on our whole world took on a new direction which I could never have planned or prepared for. What was once packed lunches and family activities was now hospital appointments, treatment plans, operations, medication and cancer; it took over our happy little life immediately, and everything became a logistical nightmare.
Brisbane is a six-hour round trip from our house, and while the kids were both in temporary daycare before the diagnosis, this became their full-time lives for the duration of treatment. For weeks on end, I’d drop them at kindy at 7 am, drive up the highway to Brisbane, sit by Andy’s bedside all day and drive home to pick them up just as the kindy was closing at 7 pm.
Leaving my kids alone for so long each day broke my heart, leaving Andy alone for so long each night broke it further.
It was during this time when I was running on pure fumes that I noticed how much available accommodation there was in Brisbane. Hotel and motel rooms were sitting vacant while families just like mine were torn in two as they dealt with the stress and emotional worry of everything their loved one was going through.
While Andy recovered in hospital and my kids slept at night, none the wiser of the hand our family had been dealt; I worked through night after night researching, planning, and finding a way that I could help families going through a medical crisis stay together.
Heartfelt Homes was born during this time of personal crisis and with thanks to the support of our amazing donors is growing from strength to strength and continues to provide regular support to families throughout New South Wales, Queensland, and the rest of Australia.
Today, Andy is in remission and back to full-time work; he continues to be Heartfelt Homes’ biggest supporter and the best daddy to our kids now aged five and six; and the best partner to me.
I wouldn’t wish what happened to our family on anyone, but if it does, there is now a service in Australia which will keep families together at a time they need each other the most.
Thank you to our donors for helping Heartfelt Homes help them.
I never did return to hairdressing!
Founder and CEO – Heartfelt Homes.