A plea for help for a 40yearold mother of three suffering from

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Two months ago, Grigoria Antonopoulou, her husband Dimitrios and their three children were going about their day to day lives, with the concerns, challenges and aspirations common to all newly arrived migrants who try to survive and build their life in Australia.Grigoria was living in Melbourne, working as a cleaner, taking care of her children and alongside her husband were trying to ensure their incomes could provide for their family. For this couple, the decision to come here, wasn’t one of choice per se. It was more of a necessity.“We had nothing left in Greece. No assets whatsoever. We were poor people. We didn’t have property or other assets; living from paycheck to paycheck. So when my husband lost his job, we lost everything. The hope for a better future for our children went down the drain. A relative, who had come to Australia before us, gave us some positive feedback about the prospects in this country. That basically triggered our decision to come. At least there was a glimpse of hope for a better future here,” she says, describing her life in crisis-stricken Greece and the reasons behind their decision to leave the motherland.This conversation is taking place in the gloomy privacy of an Austin Olivia Newton John Cancer Centre room. Grimaces on her face attest excruciating pain, the tremble of her body is constant. I ask her if she feels cold. “No, I don’t. The tumours on my spine. They hurt,” she answers.The harrowing reality she faces today was unimaginable two weeks ago.“I had some back pain and fatigue. I didn’t think too much of it. Overworked, I thought”. Grigoria wasn’t overworked, though. She was and is a very sick woman.She has stage 4 cancer, one tumour in one of her breasts, three on her spine and something sinister has already started to develop in her liver.And as if things cannot be any worse for her, they indeed are.Like we all know well and many new migrants with limited access to services, even better, if you can’t afford the basics something else has to give. People living under these circumstances hope that with hard work and a bit of luck they will manage eventually to catch up. Difficulties do not allow them to think about tomorrow. It is the daily battle that commands their immediate attention and energy.Grigoria’ s migrant status doesn’t grant her access to Medicare. She should have been covered by private health insurance but she is not. She had private health insurance but the policy lapsed.“I know it’s our mistake. We stopped paying it. We couldn’t afford it,” her husband, Dimitrios says.“Poverty is not a shame,” I reply.“It is not,” he answers, uncertain whether he should agree or disagree. “It was wrong and we are now paying for it.”And if Grigoria wants a second chance in life, she has to pay dearly. The treatment will cost her about $100,000.A friend of the family who was by her side when the doctors announced her horrid condition took the initiative to start a fundraiser. Today we encourage you to offer her some help. In the face of the generosity and humanity our community has shown whenever it was called upon to help, this considerable amount is nothing more than a needle in a haystack. Grigoria appeals to this humanity of ours. So far, $4,400 has been offered for her treatment.Each one of us has the choice to ignore this family’s plight. Grigoria though has no choice unless we listen to her plight and respond.Those wishing to donate can do so at the following bank account:Name: Grigoria Antonopoulou & Dimitrios AntonopoulosBank: Bank of SydneyBSB: 942302Acc. Num: 1152164If you prefer to offer your donation online, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/grigoria-antonopouloulast_img read more