“In the afternoons, I just felt totally exhausted. I thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’, but you do. You get up and keep going.”
These are the words of one of our Youngcare adventure challengers, Jenepher.
Living in the remote community of the Bunya Mountains, it is difficult for Jenepher to volunteer at Youngcare events, even though the cause is so close to her heart. But when she takes on a Youngcare adventure challenges, she feels the support of her small, tight-knit community right behind her every step of the way.
Jenepher’s husband Peter suffered a bleed on the brain in August last year, subsequent to a brain tumour and several strokes he suffered in his 20’s. As Peter’s full-time carer, Jenepher understands all too well the strain and stress of looking after a loved one with high care needs.
Jenepher is no stranger to Youngcare adventure challenges. Alongside the Simpson Desert Challenge in 2011 and 2015, the 2018 Yukon Adventure Challenge was Jenepher’s third time pushing her body to the limit and raising funds for young people with high care needs.
Thanks to fantastic community support, Jenepher has been able to raise around $120,000 across the three challenges, which she hopes will see people like her husband living their young lives in age appropriate housing.
“What I’ve realised is, at the end of the day, we can come home and do whatever we like. But [those living in aged care] have to do the same routine every day of their lives, they have no other choice.”
With no recurrent government funding, community support is so important to Youngcare. Even in a small community of 30 people, the support for Jenepher and for Youngcare has been astonishing.
“I’ve done a lot of talks, little groups like quilting groups or school groups – even still that’s 10 or 20 more people that now follow Youngcare.”
This goes to show rallying the community and raising money doesn’t have to be daunting or difficult and it really does make a world of difference to young people with high care needs. Without the support of people like Jenepher, Youngcare would not be able to continue building vital High Care Housing, providing life-changing grants or supporting young people and their families.
There are many ways you can show your support – volunteer your time, donate what you can, attend a fundraising event…or host your own! Simply spreading the word will make a difference @YoungcareOz