Kymberly Martin
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MS Queensland launches fundraising campaign

MS Queensland has launched its first public fundraising campaign as part of its Best Life Project, to support the construction of 12 independent-living apartments in Chancellor Park, Sunshine Coast.

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After the opening of its Wellbeing Centre on the Sunshine Coast last year, MS Queensland CEO, David Curd said the apartments are the next steps in maximising the independence and quality of life for people living with high support needs and well as providing a relevant and tailored service in the region.

“MS already takes so much away from someone’s life. It shouldn’t also take away their family, or take control over where they live,” Curd said.

By building these purpose-built apartments it is hoped to improve the quality of life for people like Gary Madden, pictured.  The 64-year-old was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 35.  As a consequence of the shortfall of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) available on the Sunshine Coast, he had to move four hours away from his family to get the right care.

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His children have young children and demanding jobs and his 91-year-old mother is unable to travel on her own to Springfield (150km away) to visit Gary at home, meaning family visits are few and far between.

His daughter Amy is his main support but the four-hour commute is incredibly hard. “If Dad lived on the Sunshine Coast, he would be able to get into a maxi-taxi in his wheelchair and visit his mum and be a part of his grandchildren’s lives,” she said.

“Dad doesn’t have a choice about everything that has been taken from him because he has MS, but he should have the choice about where he lives. There’s no cure for MS but there is a cure for living too far away.”

According to MS Queensland there are 180 people living on the Sunshine Coast currently in need of specialist disability accommodation.

The organisation is hoping to raise over $1,000,000 with funds going towards the build of the $7.5 million apartments as well as purchasing all the specialist items needed for residents to move in.

To become a part of the plan, contact MS Queensland on: 1800 841 922 or to donate visit: www.msqld.org.au/bestlife