Geoff’s Story

Community rallies to bring Aussie farmer home

At age 48, farmer Geoff Jakins made a simple trip to the doctor for a pinched nerve in his neck, when he was unexpectedly diagnosed with motor neuron disease.

Geoff’s family have lived on the border of Queensland and New South Wales in the regional community Mungindi for over 100 years. Until recently, Geoff lived on his family’s cattle and grain farm his entire life.

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Since his diagnosis in January 2015, Geoff’s condition has deteriorated rapidly and he now uses a wheelchair and a neck brace. He requires 24-hour support to eat, shower and get dressed, and now communicates via a tablet device using eye movement after losing the ability to speak.

As his care needs increased, Geoff was regularly staying in hospital and aged care.  It was Geoff’s wish to spend the rest of his life at home on his property with his wife, Michelle and son, Jack who is seven years old and lives with Dravet syndrome, a form of very severe epilepsy.

Since hearing of Geoff’s diagnosis, local communities have banded together and fundraised over $200,000. These funds enabled the Jakins’ family to modify their home and purchase accessible vehicles for getting around the farm and town, as well as helped to cover ongoing medical costs and care equipment.

Thanks to our Foundation Partner Suncorp Insurance, Youngcare was able to fund the extra support needed to provide adequate care for both Geoff and his son, Jack at home.

This Home Soon Grant will ensure that Geoff is able to stay living at home surrounded by his wife, son and loved ones for as long as possible.

Pictured: Geoff is holding the Melbourne Cup surrounded by his family. As former president of the local racing club, Geoff loves his horse racing. When the trophy was touring, the local racing club organised for it to come for a visit to Geoff and his family on their property.