Couple who lost everything in fire receive tragic diagnosis


ON NOVEMBER 9, Petria and Greg Stack lost everything they owned after their house was destroyed by bushfires at Woodbury, Yeppoon and over a month later, the couple has been dealt another devastating blow.

Doctors found a cancerous lump on Greg and are currently in the process of trying to determine the exact location of the cancer.

"As you can imagine, this is totally devastating for them and the whole family with not only trying to rebuild, now they will have medical expenses to cover," their daughter Shelley Scott posted on the GoFundMe Page she created for her parents.

"A daunting thought while on the pension.

"I just can't believe the bad luck they're having."

Greg and Petria Stack
Greg and Petria Stack

On Wednesday, Shelley dropped her parents off at the airport for them to travel to Brisbane and visit doctors, who could perform tests on Greg and determine the cancer's location.

"He is not able to eat properly and he is losing heaps of weight at the moment," Shelley said.

"Just crossing my fingers it's not too bad and in early stages so it can be cured with treatment."

The GoFundMe page has raised $7368 of the $100,000 target (as of 2.30pm December 18), with well wishes and condolences sent in from thoughtful community members.

"Any help is, of course, truly appreciated as I think they are going to build another shed," Shelley said.

"Deep inside I feel Dad's sort of pushing it along to have something for Mum in case he ends up not well.

"Mum and Dad would like to sincerely thank each and every wonderful person for their kind donations and sharing their story.

"They are overwhelmed with the love, support and kind thoughts."

The couples' nightmare began during last month's fires.

In just a few minutes on the Saturday evening, the couple's home of 20 years and 72 years' worth of memories were lost.

They fled their home with just the clothes on their backs, a laptop and Petria's purse.

They lost everything, and after weeks of searching through the debris, the reality of what they had lost had finally begun to sink in.

"The bulk of the debris has now been cleaned up and all that remains is a dirty, ashen concrete slab," Shelley said.

"As everyone now focuses on Christmas and celebrating the festive season with family, Mum and Dad still have the devastating snapshots of the fire leaving them without a home for Christmas for the first time in their lives.

"They have settled in a friend's granny flat while contemplating their future and trying to raise sufficient funds to build a small humble home again.

"If we can all keep sharing their story in the hope that it reaches far and wide to try and rally up some special Christmas cheer for Mum and Dad, that would be totally amazing and sincerely appreciated."

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