The Standley family might just be the unluckiest family in Shepparton.
But with help from Ronald McDonald House and local services, the members have remained strong and have a bright future ahead.
Daniel and Maree Standley’s eldest daughter, Alexis, 5, was first diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea at two.
‘‘Her adenoid was obstructing her airway and she wasn’t getting enough oxygen,’’ Mrs Standley said.
‘‘It was hard for her to put on weight ... her tonsils were that enlarged that we had to head down to the Royal Children’s Hospital.’’
In the past three years, Alexis has had three serious surgeries.
‘‘I heard about the Ronald McDonald when my daughter attended hospital for her first surgery ... we managed to start using the service,’’ Mrs Standley said.
‘‘We’re struggling a bit financially, but getting by week to week ... they help pay for transportation and accommodation because it is fairly hard.’’
Then there is 18-month-old son Harrison.
‘‘He was diagnosed with scoliosis before he was born ... he was sick for the first nine days of his life,’’ Mrs Standley said.
‘‘Both Goulburn Valley Health and the Royal Children’s were really great, making sure he got everything he needed, medical-wise.’’
Mrs Standley is telling her story to share the message that ‘‘there are services out there that can help’’.
‘‘It is just the hand I’ve been dealt, but I’m happy we’re all well now,’’ she said.
‘‘There are people out there that are struggling with their children’s health but we’re showing them that there is hope.
‘‘There are great services that exist ... keep going no matter what ... you can get through this.’’
For the past four years, the Ronald McDonald House has helped 140 families in Greater Shepparton.
The couple relies on Centrelink payments, with Mr Standley working 20 hours a week at a retail store in Shepparton.
‘‘I’m a full-time carer for my daughter as she has other developmental delays but once everything settles down I want to become a paediatric nurse,’’ Mrs Standley said.
‘‘I wouldn’t be able to afford anything if it wasn’t for the government services on offer. I’m really grateful.’’
Mrs Standley knew of other Shepparton residents facing similar battles but urged them to continue to remain strong.
‘‘You’ll come out as a better person ... keep at it and don’t stop until the job is done,’’ she said.