By Aneeka Simonis
SHE’S single-handedly raised two kids on her own and is always on hand to help when someone in her community is in need.
But this time it’s Julie Vause, 46, from Pakenham, who could do with some help.
Julie, mum of special needs eight-year-old Joshua and 15-year-old Bethanie, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July, and started chemotherapy at the beginning of September.
It’s clear to see Julie has her hands full.
To keep her family afloat and continuing paying off the mortgage, Julie plans to work through her six-month chemotherapy and subsequent radiotherapy treatment.
And more remarkably, she put up a fuss when her friend, Claire Kearns, proposed to launch an online fund-raiser to get her and her family through the ordeal ahead.
No-one would be more deserving of some community support than Julie, according to Claire.
Between ferrying her kids between St Patricks Primary School in Pakenham and St Francis Xavier College in Officer, Julie works five days a week and volunteers time doing the school banking and canteen.
She is also known to have held a mass garage sale and gave all the money earned to the family of former colleague who lost their life in a car crash years ago.
“Ordinary people sleep or rest … then there’s Julie,” Claire said.
“I don’t think she realises how exceptional she really is.”
She was bashful when hearing about the impact of her good deeds.
“I know what it’s like to do it hard. I am generous, but hate when it’s done for me,” Julie said.
It was by chance that Julie discovered a lump in her breast.
Ordinarily tied up with the kids, Julie had a week to herself as the kids went up to her sister’s house in Newcastle.
“They left on the Sunday, and I discovered it on the Monday,” she said.
She had a mammogram at a free health van in Pakenham about two-and-a-half years ago, and was sent a reminder to get a check-up six months ago.
However, the van no longer operates in Pakenham and Julie found herself too busy to travel for the check-up.
“It was all meant to pan out,” Julie said.
Claire said she’d be “in a mess on the floor” if it were her diagnosed with cancer, but Julie is committed to keeping a positive attitude.
She hopes it’ll her pull her and her family through.
More than $1300 has been raised for Julie in online donations.
She intends to use the money as a morale booster for her kids, hopefully funding some trips to the movies or to help pay for parking for the frequent hospital visits to come.
If you’d be pleased to help Julie and her kids through their struggle ahead, visit GoFundMe.