Life # 6 - Trish Fitzgerald from Forest Glen


This month, Cricks 12 Lives would like to help change the life of Trish Fitzgerald from Forest Glen on the Sunny Coast.

Trish is one of the kindness, most genuine people you could ever hope to meet. In fact, even those closest to her don't always realise the full extent of what Trish has been through, as her warm and happy nature belies the many challenges she is facing.

When Trish was 20, she had Hodgkin's disease and underwent a great deal of radiation treatment. She survived, and went on to have a family - two lovely boys Jacob and Izaak .

In 2007, when her boys were in high school, Trish was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had to undergo a full left mastectomy and had the lymph nodes in her arm removed. A year later, she decided to have her right breast removed as a precaution. It was an expensive but wise decision, as precancerous cells were later found.

Due to her medical history and genetics, her doctors then suggested she have a full hysterectomy and ovary clearance. It was considered elective surgery, and was once again a costly decision. But Trish was focused purely on survival, and so once again went ahead with the surgeries.

The many operations put her family in severe debt. They have since been trying to save money to pay off their debts, and also to pay for Trish to have a breast reconstruction. They were just getting by when another setback hit. Earlier this year, Trish's son Jacob broke his elbow and developed an infection in his bone. The circumstances meant that he had to use a private surgeon, which required even more money that they simply didn't have.

Trish's husband, Josh, is a brick layer and works long hours in Brisbane for six days a week to try to earn as much money as he can to pay off their medical debts. Unfortunately he has disc damage in his lower back which is degenerating his bone, and so won't be able to carry on this type of work for long. Realising she will soon need to be the main breadwinner, Trish has been studying teaching at university so she will have a stable career and income to support her family.

This is very simply a story of an incredibly lovely family who have been dealt a very difficult hand. They carry on, doing the best they can, and show nothing but gratitude for their health and to have a future together.

With your help, Cricks would like to help make their life a little bit easier.

So, this is what we need:

1. Gift vouchers for Coles or Woolworths. If we could pay for the family's groceries for a month or two...or even three, it will give them a chance to get back on their feet financially. If you, or your department, would like to buy a gift voucher for Trish please let us know.

2. Car door repair. Trish's driver's side door on her car became stuck last month so she has been climbing over to the passenger side to get in and out, as she cant afford to get it fixed. They have ordered the part they think it needs and were going to attempt the repair themselves. We would like to do it for them. If you would like your dealership to be the one to do the repair, please speak to your department head.