The bathroom floors are rotten and uneven, the sole source of heating is an old wood heater, there are holes in the wall and part of the roof has collapsed.
But Jill Miller doesn’t want to be anywhere else other than her Dereel home surrounded by her extended family.
Ms Miller, 45, is wheelchair-bound with motor neurone disease, which was only diagnosed last month after two years of symptoms.
Her husband Travis had to stop work to become her full time carer with assistance from the couple’s six children aged 11 to 25, two son-in-laws and two grandchildren who all live on the 40 acre property.
With their only income being disability and carer’s pensions there’s little left over each week to even think about the much-needed renovations to their home.
The family have launched a gofundme campaign to raise money for the renovations they need to make Ms Miller comfortable – a wheelchair friendly bathroom with new floors, heating, general repairs, a ramp and an outdoor area where she can sit in the sun.
The poor state of the home means Ms Miller struggles to get around, even in the $20,000 motorised wheelchair lent to the family from MND Australia.
“We need to make it cosy because in the winter it’s freezing,” said Ms Miller’s daughter Taylah, 20.
“I don’t get time to do anything other than provide 24 hour care,” Mr Miller said. “And the renovations we need take time and money, time and money we don’t have.”
When the couple bought the property they had three children, but the arrival of another three necessitated renovations and the family moved in to a shed.
Works dragged out and eventually the shed was extended to allow the family to live more permanently in there as grandchildren arrived and that family moved in to the half-renovated house.
“We’ve thought about selling up but we brought our kids up here, now there’s grandkids, and we don’t want to leave."Travis Miller
Taylah said two years ago her mother noticed she was limping, her shoe wouldn’t stay on her foot and it wouldn’t lift properly off the ground. More symptoms appeared, she struggled to hold items properly and despite numerous appointments with doctors and neurologists they had no answers until last month.
Now the muscles in her legs have wasted, her speech is almost gone and she must be tube fed.
“Someone has got to be home 24/7,” Taylah said. “Between dad and the rest of the family there always has to be someone here.”
Because it took so long to get diagnosis, the family are only just starting to get assistance from MND Australia and the NDIS but funding will not cover what they need.
The renovations are only part of the need, with Ms Miller also needing a speech aid worth about $20,000 and a wheelchair accessible car for when she can no longer transfer between wheelchair and car seat.
The family’s fundraiser is at www.gofundme.com/everybody-meet-jill
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