The Minister's Story
Minister Afo is a man dedicated to his faith, his community and his family. For someone who came to Australia over thirty years ago, worked tirelessly to provide for his wife and 11 children, he was no stranger to adversity. 18 months ago ago, after his wife continually suffered from dizziness and chronic headaches, they were given the devastating news that she had a brain tumour.
"With this one word from the doctor, I felt as though my world had crumbled at my feet. She has cancer and she is going to die."
The family went into high gear, with some of the Minister's adult children moving home to help their parents with treatments and the running of their local business. The thought was, the more hands to help, the easier things would be for thier mother. She was their matriarch and they reacted accordingly. A schedule was organised to look after the younger children, to accomodate thier mother's needs, even to cook and clean. Anticipating the needs of the Minister and his wife, became second nature to their children.
"In our culture, the elders are revered, respected and looked after. I am so proud of my children. They all came home. They all helped. My wife and I could not have hoped for better role models for our grandchildren. We spent so much time in the hospital but we were always greeted with love."
It was this love for their parents that allowed them to be introduced to BrainLink, their son Pele met with one of the staff and asked for the family to meet. The initial consult turned into several meetings, progressing to presentations to their community church and eventually with the Minister considering BrainLink one of the forward organisations to aid carers and families of those living with an ABI. He would constantly ask questions, came to events when his wife was well enough and referred other families to BrainLink also. It was certainly a family affair.
"One of my wife's favourite things to do was to make doughnuts for the BrainLink staff. She was always happy cooking for others and loved to hear the positive feedback. She would be nervous each time, until we received the text message saying: "As always - very good. Thank you!" It made me laugh to see her nervous."
Minister Afo constantly tells of his gratitude to BrainLink for thier presence and support for his wife, affectionately known as Mrs L, during her diagnosis, illness and sorrowful passing in May 2016. BrainLink continue to support Minister Afo and his family.