Brooke’s Move to the Gabba
Brooke is moving into The Mews in Woolloongabba where Summer Housing has customised ten apartments for people with high physical support needs amongst a 140-unit private, residential development.
“I am a little nervous like any move because it’s [Annerley Apartments] been my home for quite some time and change can be nerve-racking but nothing I can’t handle. I’m just excited for a brand new building that’s just for me. It’s a good feeling being independent. It’s a really good feeling.”
The apartments follow a ‘tenant-choice’ model meaning the ten tenants chose the service provider that they feel best meets their needs. MS Queensland was chosen by the tenants to provide specialised and bespoke 24-hour on-site support.
“MS Queensland all the way…If MS Queensland wasn’t there to help me it would have made it a tough decision to move.”
Brooke’s excitement for her new apartment is infectious and just some of the things she looks forward to include; being near her sister who lives just down the road, no longer having to share a bathroom, being close to the city, and the city views.
Brooke’s apartment on the 14th floor overlooks Brisbane City and River and she plans on celebrating her move with a house-warming BBQ on her rooftop.
Brooke was a jewellery-maker before MS took her ability to craft jewellery but her passion for colour and glassware is still evident. Her home at Annerley Apartments is peppered with colourful vintage glassware along with photos of her illustrious life.
Brooke’s looking forward to the simple pleasure of decorating her new apartment to reflect her style and really putting her own stamp on it. Something that can easily be taken for granted is being able to have your own things that you chose for your home, like cutlery. Brooke says, “I’ve got cutlery and utensils on lay-by. It will be my own.”
A fan of pizza, Brooke’s already planning her Domino’s Cheap Tuesdays, inviting some of her friends and potentially some of the other residents. She’s got lots of plans and we’re glad to be there to help where we can.
If you’re interested in an apartment of your own, you can visit our vacancies page for more information.
Brooke was a fiercely independent 18-year-old whose life was all about having fun and making the most of every moment. She was an outdoors person and loved anything to do with the ocean; swimming, fishing and snorkelling. She also danced; doing tap, jazz and ballet throughout her childhood and into her late teens.
But it was at 17 that Brooke started to notice odd things happening to her body. Her right leg suddenly started dragging and she couldn’t get up stairs without having to stop at every second step. Brooke knew something wasn’t right, so she visited her GP who referred her to a neurologist. Three years after her first symptoms, aged just 20, she was diagnosed with MS.
She didn’t know what to expect from MS and didn’t think she’d find herself in a wheelchair but after speaking to a neurologist about MS, as Brooke says “That’s when it really hit home – it’s bad. That’s when I cried.”
Brooke like many people including her GP assumed MS was a disease that affected older people. “I’m too young for this aren’t I? Then the more I learnt about MS I realised I’m not really. There are people worse off that are younger than I am,” said Brooke.
Brooke could still walk so she ignored her symptoms for another six years and continued to live her life as ‘normal’. She got married and was crowned the title of Miss Philippines. By 26 though, Brooke could no longer walk, and she no longer had the choice to ignore her MS.
By 30, Brooke could no longer care for herself and staying at home was a risk to her safety. She was one of the many young people who still today are facing the prospect of moving into aged-care. Thankfully, MS Queensland was at the beginning of its disability housing journey and opening the Annerley Apartments where Brooke could have her own home along with the services and support of MS Queensland.
Fast forward 9 years and Brooke is about to move from the Annerley Apartments that have been her home for nearly ten years into her very own brand new inner-city apartment.