IT has been a tough year for Sara Williams who was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in May.
The 49-year-old said while the diagnosis was a shock, she took it in her stride because “it could be a lot worse”.
“It was detected and we can deal with it,” she said.
“I thought I had two choices: I could curl up and cry or I could get on with it.
“I have three kids that need me and I wanted to be a positive example for them.”
However, she said it had been tough on her three children – aged 10 and 12-year-old twins – with Ms Williams recently separating from her partner then having the diagnosis.
While she has just had her last chemotherapy treatment, she will still need to have five weeks of daily radiation in the new year, and she will be on medication for 5-7 years “to keep it at bay”.
And through all of this, Ms Williams and her family were faced with an unsightly 11 tonnes of sand on the front lawn every time they went outside their Ocean Reef home.
“Every time I came up the driveway I would get cranky. The garden was appalling,” she said.
Ms Williams said when a friend had came over for coffee she was saying it was time to do something about it.
Next thing she knew, she had a team of “garden angels” on her doorstep wanting to help.
“My friend sent a message out to get some friends together to help and it just snow balled,” Ms Williams said.
“Someone posted it on Facebook and even strangers from the community were turning up.
“On the first day we had 22 people turn up.
“I had tradies offering their time to remove the dune. A plumber came and did the reticulation out the front and back.
“The Men’s Shed has built us a picket face and Bunnings has given us a new front door. Midland Tafe gave us plants.
“It’s been incredible.”
Ms Williams said it had even escalated to people offering to help with making meals and doing washing.
“It has been a real eye-opener to see the community spirit,” she said.
“It’s all been out of pure kindness.”
She said she always wanted a low maintenance garden but with a “coastal cottage” theme, and she was amazed with what had been created.
“I am totally overwhelmed by the amount of generosity and love that has been demonstrated and would love to be able to shout out to these amazing community heroes,” she said.
She said this included local businesses Mattscats – Truck and Bobcat hire, Little Green Things, Lightning Plumbing, The Retic Guy, 360 Pest and Weed Management and Bunnings Warehouse.