Meet our Mum, Maureen. The most selfless and generous person you could imagine. She has been a giver all her life and now she needs help.
Maureen is a nurse and midwife by vocation, a woman who has touched the lives of many families in our local community, looking after loved ones during times of illness or injury and supporting new parents as they welcome family members into the world. She is much loved by the many people she touched in her career that spanned over forty years.
Mum is that person who makes a meal and bakes a cake when she knows you’ve been doing it tough. Her kitchen is a warm and welcoming place where the kettle is always on and the door always open for a chat and a warm judgement-free listening ear.
Maureen’s generosity knows no bounds. For as long as we can remember, Mum donated blood and was also registered on the bone marrow registry. In 2007 she was notified that she was a match for an Australian person who required a bone marrow transplant. Would she donate?
Without hesitation, she answered the call of need and provided this life-giving gift to a person and family she had never met and was never likely to meet.
It wasn’t a small thing; it was a significant procedure and required an operation to extract the marrow. For that, she had to be admitted to a Melbourne hospital for three days. Recovery took a couple of weeks. As a busy Mum of four kids, this wasn’t easy, but she made it happen and didn’t expect gratitude.
In 2017, the health of David – Maureen’s husband and our Dad - deteriorated, due to an auto-immune condition that attacked his kidneys. He needed a transplant. Mum selflessly offered up one of her kidneys. There was an extensive testing process and Mum was found to be a match and in good health to be able to donate. And so, in 2018, Dad woke up on Valentine’s Day with Mum’s kidney gifted to him and providing him with a level of health he had not had in years. Mum gave us back our Dad.
Earlier this year, Mum had some symptoms that she knew were not right. She was diagnosed with stage 3c serous cell endometrial cancer with a HER2 mutation that makes it rare and aggressive. She had a full hysterectomy and started chemotherapy almost straight away. That complete, she now requires radiotherapy and a drug called Herceptin to keep it at bay. Herceptin is not covered by the PBS and is incredibly expensive.
Mum is uncomfortable asking for help – she much prefers to be the one answering the call.
We are asking for her.
We are Dom, Erin, Luke and Nick – her children and her life’s work. We love our Mum dearly and want her to be here with us as long as possible, to continue being part of our lives and to see her grandchildren grow up. The tenth grandchild was born just this year. It’s time for all that selfless love Mum has put out into the universe, to come back to her.
We need to raise $150,000 to help cover Mum’s medical costs and give her the drug that will keep that blasted cancer at bay.
If you know Mum or have been on the receiving end of her care, or if her story of generosity and selflessness inspires you, please donate. There should be more Maureens in the world, not less!
Dom, Erin, Luke & Nick