Community being called on to help terminally ill Lake Macquarie mum stay at home

Terminally ill Lake Macquarie mother Kristen Calculli has a simple wish - to live out her remaining time at home surrounded by her two children, family, friends and animals, especially her beloved horses.

Ms Calculli was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in March 2012. Recently, it has spread to her lungs and bones.

"I was on a good path up until last year," she said. "I had a lump come up under my arm. It showed that it was in the lymph. I had a few admissions to hospital to drain fluid off my lungs.

"I had a fall in January at home here and I had really bad pain that wouldn't go away. I had that investigated and it showed I had mets on the pelvis as well. So, it's in the bone and in the lungs.

"I have a sense of peace within me. I feel like I don't have to fear what's ahead of me. I'm more about quality of time rather than live my days from doctor appointment to doctor appointment.

"I'm just looking at my options now. But this is my sanctuary. This is my happy place. My horses are my therapy."

Helping Ms Calculli on her property in Martinsville is her teenage children, son Ollie, 14, and daughter Georgie, 12, sister Melissa Lamplough and the Cooranbong Cactus Girls.

LOVING: Georgie, 12, Ollie, 14, and Kristen Calculli. Friends of Ms Calculli, who has terminal breast cancer, are seeking support from the community to help keep the Martinsville mother in her home.

LOVING: Georgie, 12, Ollie, 14, and Kristen Calculli. Friends of Ms Calculli, who has terminal breast cancer, are seeking support from the community to help keep the Martinsville mother in her home.

Started 12 years ago, the cactus girls meet at least once a month for coffee, cake and a chat. When Ms Calculli, who is a member of the group, was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago the Cactus Girls rallied around her.

"When Kristen needed our help we all banded together," Mrs Lamplough said. "We started off with meals and we've just grown. We're now doing house repairs, doctor's appointments, helping with the kids."

The Cooranbong Cactus Girls are now asking members of the community to help in any way they can.

"The property and house needs minor repairs," Mrs Lamplough said. "Unfortunately, we're not able to provide and undertake all tasks required to keep Kristen in her family home.

"If you're an individual, business or group who could help by undertaking simple jobs or donating items or services to show kindness towards Kristen, it would be greatly appreciated."

Ms Calculli said she would give back to those who did help around her home in any way she can.

"I'd really love to give back to anyone who could help. If they wanted to experience horse riding or even have a picnic on the property, enjoy the tranquillity, they would be welcome to," she said.

Anyone wishing to speak with the cactus girls about donating their time, trade, services or goods to Ms Calculli can do so through the Kindness for Kristen Facebook group.

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