When a veterans’ child like Kathy is living with a disability, Legacy is there to support for life.
Kathy is in her late 50s and was born with an intellectual disability.
Her dad, Jim, was a World War II veteran who served with the 2/4 Australian Field Regiment (Australian Army) in the Middle East and New Guinea.
I used to spend a lot time with dad when I was young. He used to take me to swimming lessons, he taught me to play cards, and during the war he was on the frontline protecting the guys from the Kokoda Track. I’m very proud of him.
It was Kathy’s widow mother Joan, who first introduced Kathy to Legacy in the years after her beloved dad passed away in 2007. As Jim’s widow, Joan had run into significant challenges in qualifying for her own Gold Card, which entitles the holder to free or low-cost treatment and medical care, as well as things like help at home and other care services. Legacy spent two years advocating on Joan’s behalf.
So that was the very first thing that Legacy did to help mum. Because of that, she could relax a lot more.
For Kathy, that was the beginning of a long and lovely relationship with those she now calls her ‘Legacy family’. And she soon learned that Legacy was going to be there for her as well… just like they were for her mum!
Along with important social outings, Legacy’s Community Services team connects people living with a disability, like Kathy, to other services they may need to live their best life. From finding a National Disability Services Scheme (NDIS) provider who can help them get funding for extra support, to advocacy for social housing.
Helping her daughter to live independently was important to Joan because she knew that she wouldn’t be around forever. Kathy remembers the moment she took that step as if it was yesterday.
Our Legatee drove my mum and me to my unit and we had a look. We all agreed that it looked nice. It was a housing commission unit and the very first time that I moved away from my parents’ home.
It was Joan’s dearest wish that Kathy would be okay without her. It was the most important reason she sought to connect with Legacy all those years ago.
When Joan passed away two years ago, her dearest wish became her lasting gift to her daughter.
She said she wanted to join for me. She wanted me to a part of Legacy. Until mum died, I didn’t know what living by myself was really like. Now I’ve got to keep going on with Legacy’s help.
I don’t know what I’d do without them all. They’re such a good group of people and so fun to be with. If I didn’t have Legacy, I think I’d be a mess.
Kathy says her dad, Jim, would be incredibly grateful that Legacy stepped in to support his wife and daughter after his passing.
My dad would be thinking: ‘Oh I’m glad Kathy is with Legacy!’. Knowing that Legacy’s helping me when I need it: my dad would say ‘thank you Legacy for being with Kathy.’ He was a man of very few words but I’m sure he’d say that!
While Kathy has benefitted from Legacy’s support over the years, she has also given back through volunteering and raising funds on Legacy’s behalf. Kathy was one of our torch bearers for the Brisbane leg of The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023 presented by Defence Health which has been travelling around Australia to mark Legacy’s centenary year.
Photo by Csmith photography
Legatees are Legacy’s most dedicated volunteers. They commit to supporting families and build deep personal relationships to help them thrive.
Legatee relationships provide relief. Knowing that there is 24/7 comfort and advocacy available for families like Kathy and Joan when they need it most.How to get involved