After experiencing symptoms that resembled low blood sugar, Jon from Cootamundra suffered a seizure and was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Over the course of the next 18 months, Jon endured 2 separate surgeries (both in Sydney which is around 800km return), 2 separate bouts of radiotherapy (one in Sydney and one in Wagga Wagga), and a course of chemotherapy. Jon and Dani traveled more than 8,000km in trips back and forth to Sydney and many hundreds more back and forth to Wagga Wagga. In addition, they were required to fund around 10 weeks of accommodation in Sydney.
Not only did Jon stop working, but so too did his wife Dani, who has been his carer. The financial impacts were devastating. With no income coming in, bills quickly added up. It was then they met Colleen – the treasurer of the local Can Assist Cootamundra branch. The family had never heard of IPTAAS (the NSW government-funded travel and accommodation subsidy scheme), had not collected any of the appropriate signatures nor had they retained any receipts. Whilst Can Assist helped them to lodge the government claim, there were many excess bills left over to pay. Can Assist provided multiple petrol vouchers, paid for their accommodation in Sydney, and contributed toward multiple out-of-pocket medical expenses; both for treatments and pharmaceuticals.
Being an ex-pat from California, Jon says – “In the States, being self-employed, this tumor could have been a death sentence” and further that “If it were not for Can Assist, we would have needed to sell our house to afford treatment…. we can’t thank Can Assist enough”