Jill’s story

A gift in honour of a life well lived

When Jill Johnson became the latest member of the Circle of Hands by leaving a gift to Cerebral Palsy Alliance in her Will, we didn’t know how selfless Jill’s beautiful gesture was.

Jill’s bequest was to honour her well-loved “Uncle Nick”, who lived a joyful and fulfilled life, thanks to the foresight and courage of his mother.

Nick was born in 1920, the eldest of three sons.  He grew up on a merino sheep property called “Couranga” in the ACT.   When he came to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy while still a very young child, his mother Clare was determined that Nick get the best rehabilitative care so that he could live as independently as possible.  As there were few specialist physiotherapy facilities available in Canberra in the mid 1920’s, Clare moved to Sydney with Nick for a year so that he could receive intensive physiotherapy on his legs.  This venture enabled him to walk with the help of a walking stick for the rest of his life.   When Nick reached adulthood, his father John set up a small poultry farm so that Nick had his own gainful employment and income.   Nick lived with various family members at “Couranga” until he reached the age of 65, at which time he moved to “Brindabella Gardens” retirement village in Canberra.  Here, his social life really blossomed – which he enjoyed, as he was a very sociable person.  He even travelled overseas on several occasions!  Nick finally passed on in 2005 at the age of 84, having enjoyed good health throughout his life.

Jill receiving a unique masterpiece created by one of the artists who participate in our Arts Workshop to acknowledge her bequest and to connect her with a cause that is close to her heart.
Jill’s uncle, Nick Johnson (seated) with her mother Alison and father Tony.

When asked about her motivation for supporting Cerebral Palsy Alliance, she replied “I decided to make donations in honour of Nick’s life and my memories of him.  Also, I felt that Nick would appreciate me sharing some of the wealth he bequeathed to me in his Will by passing this on through my own Will  to assist others with cerebral palsy, as well as their carers.  When Nick was a child in the 1920’s, there was little financial or other assistance available to families of people with cerebral palsy.  So, he would be very happy to see how things have changed for the better in this regard, and also to see how much assistance is rendered by Cerebral Palsy Alliance nowadays”.

If you are considering leaving a gift that can help transform the lives of generations to come, please contact our Fundraising Relationship Manager, Carol O’Carroll (pictured above on the right) on 9975 8955 or email: giftsinwills@cerebralpalsy.org.au