Sara’s sister Cassie was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer in 2019. Treatment started with removal of the tumour and after being unsuccessful, needed to move to the removal of her right ring finger. Cassie also attempted medication but this was tricky due to the significant upfront cost of the medication which was not on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme and wasn’t able to accessed through Medicare. Cassie also attempted immunotherapy but there was a significant cost there too as each infusion was over $6000. Cassie used a fundraiser to help with the costs and accessed all of her Super at that time to do that job too.
Unfortunately, the cancer was too aggressive and Cassie passed in July 2020 at the age of 33. Cassie was a sole carer for her two children, Jack and Maddison. Jack was 4 and Maddison was 1 at the time of her death. Cassie’s children were to be cared for by her older sister, Sara.
Sara had a child to her previous relationship and her partner, Chris, had three children to his previous relationship. Sara and Chris were 9 weeks pregnant at the time of Cassie’s death. Suddenly there were 6 kids in a three-bedroom house with another on the way and Sara and Chris needed to do upgrade to a bigger car!
When Sara was 8 months pregnant, Jack and Maddison’s father also passed due to mental health illness.
Baby Carter was born in January 2021, making a total of 7 kids in a three-bedroom house.
For Jack and Maddison, losing both parents in such a short amount of time, really brought a tsunami into their world. They had so much change – new family, new house, new daycare, new routines and needed a lot of therapy to help get through it.
Jack required weekly OT sessions, weekly Speech Pathologists sessions and fortnightly Psychology sessions. Maddison still required weekly OT sessions. NDIS is a slow process and hasn’t yet funded any therapies as they don’t recognise trauma as a reason to access funding. Both State and Federal Governments are calling this situation a family arrangement and Sara and Chris are privately funding their situation with the help of community organisations such as Sleapys Foundation.
Sara and Chris work tirelessly on their family, routines and ensuring every child has what they need and are due to be married in 2023. Sara and Chris practice gratitude everyday, acknowledging that every day is has its ups and downs but there is always something to be grateful for, even it is being grateful for help, and they are especially grateful for the ongoing support of Sleapys Foundation.