Cynthia Nicholson, of Sgorra Bhreac, Strathalbyn, has been overwhelmed at the care and support her brother Matt Carter is receiving while he is a full-time resident at Flinders House.
Their mother, Barbara Klingberg, was born in Quorn so the town of Quorn has family roots.
She said she was blown away at the very warm welcome Matt has received, and the friendliness of all the staff at this beautiful home away from home.
“The proof of the pudding is that Matt has regained his appetite and is smiling again,” she said.
“This is a blessing indeed for Matt who has already lost both his wives to cancer some years ago and now finds comfort in his own journey.”
Cynthia is an avid fundraiser for people who are suffering and coping with illness in rural and regional South Australia.
She has two-and-a-half acres of garden aptly called “Sgorra Bhreac Garden” which she designed and planted from bare ground in 2010 to 2014 and today runs fundraising garden tours, bus tours, high teas and luncheons at Sgorra Bhreac for groups and clubs as well as hosting several weddings.
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Cynthia’s current fundraising efforts all started with a conversation over a glass of wine with a friend.
Her first self-directed task was to provide a garden makeover at SA Cancer Council’s Greenhill Lodge in Adelaide.
This facility is used by country patients who need accommodation during their radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment in Adelaide.
A friend from America was staying on a holiday with her and to earn his keep and board he helped her cart fertiliser, mulch and plants and provided much help on the end of the shovel.
“Our efforts created a lot of interest and cancer sufferers and their families ventured outside, joined in the fun and chatted while I wielded a paint brush or broom or had my hands deep in dirt!” she said.
“Everyone walked away with a smile and that’s what happy therapy is all about!”
Cynthia has a group of volunteers who willingly help her to cater for various events throughout the year.
It is not only therapeutic but brings people together and her motto is “If we can’t laugh with each other then we don’t have much do we?”
Together they have contributed valuable funds for many projects.
The projects include renovating the motel type rooms at SA Cancer Council’s Greenhill and Flinders Lodges, donations to Strathalbyn’s Suicide Prevention Network, the Chemotherapy Unit at Murray Bridge Hospital, and The Neighbourhood Community Centre in Strathalbyn, to Strathalbyn International Women’s Day Committee and to the Chaplaincy for Student Counselling group in Strathalbyn.
On this occasion, a chance conversation with Bronwyn at Quorn’s Flinders House recently highlighted a bucket list of items Bronwyn dreamed of having one day for the benefit of all residents living at Flinders House.
Cynthia has responded with the donation of a smart television and wall mount which will be used for showing families the activities residents enjoy during their time at Flinders House.
It will enable the facility’s residents to watch their favourite DVDs, of which Matt has a big collection to share, and it can also double up to play “Wingo for Bingo” games.
Cynthia’s motto of “giving is also receiving and it feels good” is one we could all take to heart and and words we can all live by.