Each Anzac Day, we pause in recognition of Australians who gave their lives or their health for our country. We are also reminded that when the guns fall silent, there are families within our community who live with the loss or disability of a parent or partner who served our nation.

That’s why, this Anzac Day, your support for veterans’ families is so critical. Families like Vicki and her young daughter Isabella need your help right now. You can help families like Vicki’s by donating to Legacy’s Anzac Day Appeal today.

Vicki’s husband Greg was just 18 when he joined the Army as a Gunner. The deadly melanoma that took his life was attributed to sun exposure during his defence service.

Just before Vicki met Greg, he had a stage 3 melanoma removed from his face. ‘They got it all’, he would later tell Vicki: assuming the worst was behind him.

For the first 18 months after they met, Vicki and Greg remained close friends. “Then one day, he met me at work, took me to lunch and told me that he loved me. It was so romantic!” The couple married, and before long, they were expecting their first child.

 
The pregnancy would be far from smooth sailing and their daughter, Isabella, was born 8 weeks premature. She weighed just over 1500 grams.

“Greg was my rock through the whole pregnancy and during those scary early days with Isabella,” Vicki says. “He was such a hands-on dad and adored Isabella from the moment he set eyes on her.”

 
Tragically, when Isabella was three, Greg noticed a lump on his collarbone. Days after attending his GP, he and Vicki would be sitting in an Oncologist’s office. The news was devastating. “Greg had stage 4 melanoma. A scan showed that he had 10 tumours on his brain and more in one of his lungs.”

Seven months after diagnosis, Greg passed away. He was just 37 years old.

 
“So, there I was, suddenly, a single mum with a four-year-old.
It was overwhelming,”
 Vicki remembers.

 
When Greg died, Vicki says she was numb. “I didn't know what to do
or who speak to.  I was drowning in grief and struggling to hold down my job
when someone suggested I contact Legacy.”
 
“When I turned to Legacy, it was like a lightbulb moment. I instantly
knew that they understood me, and what Isabella and I were going through.”

 
Vicki is especially grateful that she connected with Meredith as her volunteer Legatee. “I am really blessed that I was matched with Meredith: she was the exact person I needed to have in my life. Over the years, she has been an incredible support. She also lost her husband who was a veteran, so she totally gets me and Isabella.”
 
It is you and caring Australians like you who enable volunteer Legatees like Meredith to be there for veterans’ families. Since 2015, thanks to you, Legacy has assisted two generations of this little family in many ways:
 
  • By delighting Isabella with a gift voucher every Christmas and Birthday (she’s now 11 years old).
  • Financial assistance for school uniforms and activities such as swimming and calisthenics.
  • By providing educational grants to pay for Isabella’s school fees and associated costs.
Your generosity also provided financial aid to help Vicki train for a new career as a school services officer. This will allow her more freedom to tailor her working life to the care and wellbeing of the child that she is raising alone.
 
I’m thrilled to report that Vicki recently informed us that she has secured her dream job. This is a wonderful outcome and you should feel proud of the part you have played in helping Vicki and her daughter become more self-reliant.
There are many more veterans’ families like Vicki’s who rely on the generosity of people like you to support them through their grief. And to help their families survive…and thrive.

Your generous donation to this appeal will help veterans’ children to reach their full potential. It will provide financial support for their education – from school uniforms and stationery, to tutoring fees and attendance at school camps. It could support a veteran’s child through their university years or help a newly widowed mum or dad retrain for a new career so they can better provide for their family.

This Anzac Day, as you commemorate the brave men and women who have served our nation in all wars and peacekeeping missions, please remember those they left behind. You can do that right now by donating to Legacy’s Anzac Day Appeal.

Through your generosity, you have the power to ensure that Australians like Vicki and Isabella don’t suffer due to a loved one’s service to our country.

On behalf of those who have served our nation, and their families, thank you for your generosity.