Bay grandad fighting for family hit by health problems
IT’S THE news no grandfather would ever want to hear.
Hervey Bay’s Geoff Lavers’ two small grandsons have been diagnosed with a rare disease called limb girdle muscular dystrophy, a condition that will likely see both boys, Zac, 4, and Ted, 13 months, facing mobility challenges later in life.
Geoff has been a shoulder for his daughter, Courtney Withnall, to cry on since the boys were diagnosed.
Zac also faces additional challenges, having been diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to a lack of oxygen at birth, as well as undergoing surgery as a baby for a congenital heart defect.
But the news was only going to get worse for the family.
Courtney’s husband, James, was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and now walks with the aid of a walking stick.
Geoff knew the family needed urgent help.
So, with his family living in Sydney, from mor than 1000km away Geoff began a Go Fund Me campaign with the hopes of transforming their lives.
He knows one day they will need a disability-friendly home able to cope with the needs of three people with mobility limitations.
So far more than $34,000 has been raised, with a target of $400,000.
Geoff is hoping the family will be able to buy a block of land and build a home that will meet their needs with the money.
He said hearing about the family’s mounting health issues was tough and he was trying to support his daughter as much as possible.
I’m devastated,” he said.
“We’ve had a big cry session.”
Mrs Withnall, a registered nurse, said a purpose-built home would make a world of difference.
“James and I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone,” she said.
“The support of the community really does make such a difference.
“It’s actually been quite a shock to see the GoFundMe campaign doing so well - it’s very humbling.”
Mr Lavers was also humbled by the support they had received.
“If any family is worthy of a little more lift in helping them soar above their cards that have been dealt in this life, this one does,” he said on GoFundMe.