Meet Maureen Stevenson
In this column we explore our donor heroes who are the real changemakers in our journey of giving hope and changing lives. We hope these stories will inspire other donors to share their stories, so we can grow a vibrant and connected donor community. If you would like to share your story of what inspired you to give to Wesley Medical Research, we would love to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 3721 1510 and let’s have a cuppa and chat!
I caught up with Maureen at a cosy café in the Gold Coast where she resides, and not long into our conversation I realised that behind her soft and warm demeanour was a steely resolve to take each day as it comes, no matter what it may bring.
A Wesley Medical Research donor for over 13 years, Maureen is no stranger to philanthropy. She is an active supporter of at least 50 charities and understands the importance of untied giving which is so useful to charities to enable impact where it is needed most.
Her first job was as a cashier at Commonwealth Bank in Sydney, and she recalled how she was introduced to Barry, her husband-to-be because their mothers played tennis together. “As Barry used to say, it was an arranged marriage” Maureen quipped. A holiday in Queensland some years later led to a permanent move to the sunshine state and she has called the Gold Coast home since 1994.
Whilst being a sprightly and effervescent 78 year old, Maureen has had her share of health challenges. She was unfortunately the victim of a car accident in 1981 which caused serious damage that meant she had to spend five months in hospital and five months thereafter on crutches. The car accident also resulted in a knee replacement in 2009 on her right knee, to be followed by another knee operation on her left knee in 2019 when she was a patient at The Wesley Hospital. A breast cancer diagnosis in 2016 also posed an emotional, psychological, physical and practical challenge. “I’ve been poked and prodded enough for a lifetime,” she reflected.
With the passing away of Barry in 2015, Maureen made the conscious decision to get up every day and get out there. She leads a busy and full life which includes ‘catching up with the girls’ whether school friends or workmates in Sydney; spending time with her two cats Coco and Milo, who are her steadfast companions; trivia nights at the local RSL; garden club meetings; watching quiz shows and doing crosswords. “I’m planning an outback travel experience on The Ghan to Darwin and Adelaide and I also have 500 jokes on my computer that I just haven’t had the time to read yet,” she enthused.
Blessed with a great sense of humour, Maureen is a lady of tenacious spirit with a deep heart for helping others. “I look at myself and think I won’t be helpful in any physical capacity but supporting the causes that I believe in is my way of helping those who are in need. Medical research is something that will always be relevant to society and this is what prompted me to confirm a gift in my Will to Wesley Medical Research.”
Maureen, we are so grateful for your commitment to our organisation and we look forward to the significant impact of your support on our medical research projects now and into the future, as we journey towards improving patient outcomes.