The pain of seeing a loved one suffer through a potentially terminal illness in hospital already takes a huge toll on families, add the stress of having to find accommodation close by that won’t break the bank is one more blow many people don’t realise.
Thankfully for organisations such as Wishlist Foundation, based on the Sunshine Coast, the pressure of having to find affordable accommodation is a thing of the past, allowing families to be closer to loved ones who are undergoing treatment.
Wishlist House and Reed House are utilised by families or partners who wish to stay close to families at the hospital, a perfect option for people who live in regional areas such as Gympie.
Currently, three out of four patients staying at Wishlist’s existing accommodation facilities are from the Gympie region while family members undergo treatments in Nambour or Sippy Downs.
With the influx of Gympie and surrounding areas utilising Wishlist’s facilities, the organisation has made the decision to add a third, much larger, facility directly opposite the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Set to open mid next year, Wishlist Centre will provide additional accommodation along with a comfortable and supportive environments for patients and their families during their ongoing health journey.
Through collaboration with commercial, community and government sectors, Wishlist Centre will also introduce services that offer the physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional support we know is needed by patients, their families and staff of our hospitals.
Events such as the Wishlist Jazz and Wine Festival held earlier in the year allowed for fundraising which will go directly towards the new facility, more than $20,000 was raised from this year’s event held at Gunabul Homestead.
Gympie Regional Council Mayor Glen Hartwig says events such as the Jazz and Wine Festival are a great way for the community to get involved to help the organisation which is extremely close to his heart.
Glen knows all too well the unbearable struggle of watching a loved one battle a terminal illness while trying to find accommodation suitable for his young family.
Through the early 2000’s, Glen’s late wife Heather contracted an aggressive form of breast cancer which required ongoing treatment in Brisbane, the task of finding suitable housing a daunting and difficult task for Glen with two young kids.
“It was really difficult, because there wasn’t many facilities for families,” Glen said.
“There were two bunk beds for the kids, but otherwise there was nothing else for them so they would do laps outside on the concrete on their scooters and it would annoy the other residents.
“Having an organisation like Wishlist to help meet those accommodation needs, takes a huge expense off families at a time when you’re already going through enough.
“You’ve already got so much uncertainty about your partner, are they going to make it through? Are you doing enough for your family? So when you’ve got an organisation like Wishlist which help cover the cost of accommodation, it just takes such a big strain off.”
Story written by Rose Astley – Gympie Today 14/10/2021