Nicola and her family and have had more than their share of challenges to face in the past few years.
It started when their youngest daughter, now 3, was born with a club foot; requiring her to be re-admitted to hospital for treatment at just five days old. Then, just a few months later, Nicola’s husband went for blood tests having had what he thought was a flu he couldn’t shake. He was diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia.
“There we were; the baby was just five months old. I was still on maternity leave,” says Nicola, a school teacher.
“We coped with the diagnosis, but the hardest part to deal with is that this type of leukemia is incurable. It can be managed, but we will never get that five-year ‘all-clear’. That’s hard.”
With her husband off work and in treatment, Nicola still on maternity leave looking after their three-year-old and her older sister, the couple borrowed money from family to make ends meet.
“We also took a family holiday to Australia. It seemed a really important thing to do. To create some memories because we just don’t know how long we have with my husband. It might be five years, it might be ten.
“He’s doing really well right now. He’s on maintenance drugs and able to work, which we’re grateful for because a lot of people with this disease can’t.”
Meanwhile, Nicola’s daughter’s treatment for her club foot is on track. “She’s doing really well. You can only really notice her foot now when she gets tired.”
With both Nicola and her husband back working, they opted to take out a Harmoney loan to pay back the debts to family. “It’s just so much easier to pay one amount, rather than lots of different payments to different people.”
“Our focus now is to just try and enjoy life. The loan has made it much easier for us, and we’re very grateful.”
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