Just over a year ago I attended what I thought was going to be a standard valuation of a two bed flat in Tadworth. I pitched up to meet Mr & Mrs Bishop hopeful that I would be able to work with them to sell their home, without ever knowing what I was walking into. The first thing that struck me was how immaculately clean the house was - and I mean eat your dinner off of the floor clean - absolutely spotless. The second thing was Dana Bishop's sunny disposition: a real smiler, I warmed to her instantly.
The appointment went according to plan for all of fifteen minutes. We discussed the property market in general and then the market in her area before going on to discuss the value of her home. It was around this time that Paul came home and he levelled with me: there wasn't a lot of room financially for them to move, our meeting was a fact finding mission to establish whether there was a way forward. I sat and listened as their story unfolded and with each word uttered I became more and more certain that they were never going to be able to move from their flat to the family house they so badly needed. To cut a very long story short, their eldest son Morgan suffers dreadfully from many ailments, one of which life is threatening, and the poor little man spends a lot of his day in horrific discomfort from a permanent itch that takes over his whole body. He bearly sleeps which means his parents barely sleep. He is uncomfortable quite literally all of the time and as early as the tender age of 5 has discussed ending his own life, such is his everyday battle. As a mother I couldn't even comprehend what Dana and Paul had to go through on a daily basis, let alone hearing that their tiny little son had contemplated suicide, it was heartbreaking to hear. And yet they continued to chat in their upbeat and cheerful manner, something I now know they maintain as much as possible to keep the strength up to keep moving forward.
I listened as they explained that everyday life would be made so much better if they had a little more room and a garden for Morgan and his little brother to play in. Living on top of each other the way they were meant that neither parent had any respite and Jenson, their youngest, currently slept on a put me up bed in their bedroom because Morgan slept so badly. They were trapped in an endless juggle of time, patience and exhaustion and it was clear that an extra bedroom and a bit of outside space would make all the difference in the world to them. Sadly though, it was becoming clear that there was no way they could have it. Their finances just didn't deliver what they so badly needed.
Paul is the only person earning in the family as Dana has to be on hand for round the clock care for Morgan and Jenson. Paul would dearly love to put in more hours, work more shifts, take on a more lucrative job but his family situation means that he simply can't, he may be needed at any given time, his family have to rely on all hands on deck at all times. Even in the future when Jenson goes off to school, Dana won't be able to work as she is Morgan's main carer - he cannot keep usual school hours like other children and his every day life is taken up with hospital visits, stays and general days of the disruption caused by his conditions. They are stuck - a tally up of the numbers had us all realising that we had a shortfall of £40,000.00 and I left the valuation with the Bishop's quietly accepting that moving to a much needed house wasn't their destiny.
They bothered me for days that little family. I think if I had have had the £40,000.00 myself I would have handed it over, such was my connection with their plight. I looked at all of the ways possible to help them and spoke to my trusted mortgage advisor but it kept coming back the same: it was impossible.
So I hit on another idea: to raise the funds instead.
This didn't go down well with Paul, I have to tell you! They had raised money for pioneering treatment for Morgan and that was one thing, but to raise money to help him move home? no he wasn't comfortable with that at all and it took a few days for him to realise that people would want to help him because, no matter what he did, he couldn't do anymore to help himself. There aren't enough hours in the day, days in the week or weeks in the year for him or Dana to get even a fraction of the time they need to function, let alone add more with additional shifts. After much soulsearching her relented and our journey began.
Unbelievably, through the power of humand kindness, it didn't take long for perfect strangers to rally and help us. We have had all sorts of donations from a stranger who undertook a skydive for us, to the wonderful Chris Hunt asked for donations instead of flowers for her funeral when her life suddenly and unexpectedly came to an untimely end only a few weeks ago. Businesses all over town have thrown their weight behind this cause and thanks to the power of the people, we are almost there.
I remain astonished at the number of people that have stepped forward to assist us, putting themselves out and digging deep for the cause and I am delighted to advise that not only are we under offer on the sale of Dana and Paul's property to a wonderful couple who couldn't be a more perfect fit, but also that they have found the perfect home to move into. Progress is good and their dream will come true in the next 6 to 8 weeks if we can raise the last few hundred pounds to get them across the line. And I know we can, you have all proved that already. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for every penny donated and action undertaken to help this lovely family, you have genuinely changed their lives forever.
If you can help us get to our target of £40,000.00 by donating or even sharing this post I would be eternally grateful, it is going to be simply amazing to watch this lovely family move into their forever home!
Click here to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/morganshouse
Thank you so much, you're all just brilliant!
Sacha and Scott x