Brodie's Story

Reporter: Tim Noonan

"Not having Mum here is very hard because she was our rock our support, our everything, really, not having a father in our life." Says Brody

"She said to us if anything happens to me, you three kids stick together." Says Jorgia

"You think everything is fine in your life and then a bomb explodes in front of you and everything changes, forever. It will never be the same again." Says Angie

Angela Edwards needs a miracle.

"We wont give up will we? We'll find something." Says Angie

Not just for herself but for her three kids.

"I love you." Brody tells his mum

"I love you too." His mum Angie replies

"It's just killing her slowly and slowly from the inside. You can't see it, you can't hear it, you know you, you can't feel it and it's doing it." Says Brody

"She used to always say as long as you have your health nothing else matters and now, that's sort of been taken away." Says Jorgia

"Do you believe miracles happen?" asks Tim

Jorgia replies "With someone like Mum, it's bound to happen to someone special like her."

"So it's just a waiting game, really and hope, hope for some luck to come our way." continues Brody

Then the most unlikely angel steps in.

"Thought you might want to have a look!" says Mick

"What have you been doing?" asks a baffled Angie

A complete stranger offering the gift of hope.

"It's exactly how mum wanted it, it's beautiful." Says Jorgia

"It's just amazing! Says Angela

"Dreams do happen." Says Mick

"How can I ever thank you?" asks Angela

"Two weeks ago, you didn't even know these people, they were strangers, why did you do it?" asks Tim

"They needed somebody to put up their hand and help them so a group of friends and I decided to do just that." Answers Mick

"It feels pretty good?" asks Tim

"Everybody feels pretty good ... real good!" replies Mick

What you're about to see would have happened regardless, TV cameras rolling or not. Nothing has been orchestrated or set up. We were just lucky enough to witness something ... unforgettable.

Angela is 40.

Late last year she was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer.

"Originally, she went to the doctors with lumps in her belly and they told her that it was just like a cyst in her belly and that and don't worry about it, we'll get some scans done but there was no rush. She eventually had the scans done and it revealed it was cancer." Says Brody

Her eldest son, Brody, has just turned 18.

"The cancer is like, strangling the body, strangling the insides; which means she can't drink, can't eat, can't go to toilet, can't walk and it's slowly shutting down different parts of her body down as it's spreading throughout it." He continues

"They told me after the surgery I had last week that there was nothing surgically they could do for me. The tumour had spread too far in my bowel." Says Angie

As the disease begins to shut down her vital organs, every second she spends with her kids is now precious beyond belief.

"I don't want to go anywhere. I've got my family, my beautiful kids and they're my life, they're my world. I'm not going, I'm not leaving, I'm going to fight everything I have to ... to be here. I'm not giving up." Says Angela

Since Angela was diagnosed five months ago, the kids have been left to take care of themselves.

"Who is washing and who's wiping tonight?" asks Brody

"Do you want to stack the dishwasher and I'll just wash up this stuff." Jorgia replies

"I've got to step up now as the oldest and do Mum's job and she always said, you know, I promise I won't let anyone hurt you and I've now made that promise to them two but, you know, it's a bit harder because I don't have that older person to lean on myself." Says Brody

Even harder is the fact the kids have never had a father of their own.

"We've been separated from our Dad for a long time, we haven't seen him for a long time ... don't have contact with him anymore." Says Brody

So Brody has decided to take charge.

"I think it would probably be more hard as well because we haven't really had a Dad and he's had no one to sort of learn off, he's sort of just being a manly version of Mum!" says Jorgia

Younger sister, Jorgia, is 16. Little brother, Logan, is just 14

"We just kind of have to take it, yeah, one day at a time, call up Mum, make sure she's fine." Says Logan

"At the moment, she's our main concern and worry and we take care of the little things that's going on and the big things will take care of themselves." Says Jorgia

"Was there a time when you thought they wouldn't be able to handle it?" Tim asks

Angie replies "Sometimes, yeah, you see they're frightened, but they're trying to stay strong for me but they're very strong."

While family and friends are never far away, should the worst happen, Brody will become his brother and sister's keeper, their legal guardian.

"He wants to be the Dad of the family, he wants to be the one that steps in and takes over now and says nothing will happen to you and to me ... nothing will happen to you Mum ... he's our protector." Says Angie

But he can't protect them from what may come.

"It scares us ... what if Mum does go and what if she does pass on, like how are we going to deal with life when we've got bills to pay and the mortgage and you know, everyday expenses; lighting, power, electricity so that's probably the scary bit." Says Brody

He continues "It just hits me and they say what are we going to do and I don't know what to tell them? It's beyond me and I just have to walk away and be away from it because I don't know how to answer that for them. I don't know what to tell them."

"Hey Mum, how are you? Were you asleep were you?" Asks Brody

"Some days are harder like than others, just with little things that you want to tell Mum, like you just want to run home and tell her from school something that happened ... it's just kind of hard to be sorta missing out on that." Says Jorgia

"I can't afford on an apprentice wage to keep the house and I don't want to leave this house, we've had so many good memories here. It's our home really, it's not a house, it's a home, this is where we've grown up." Says Brody

They live two hours away from the hospital, in a house that's seen better days.

"The renovations were her dream. She had them set out how she wanted them. She's always said I'm coming home and I'm going to finish this house, she going to finish it no matter what." Says Jorgia

"Just nothing extraordinary, just comfortable and nice, what everyone should have. But, yeah, that was my dream." Agrees Angie

A year and a half later, it still sits ... neglected, run down and dangerous.

"It's been hard to get done, especially get finished since I've become ill." Angie continues

"They don't come across and say why has this happened to me?" Says Hugh

Hugh Jarvis is their next door neighbour. For months he's watched their pain, but not once has he heard them whinge.

"I said, bugger this, I put a text message together, sent it out to everyone that I knew and the response was absolutely overwhelming."

At the other end of the phone was Mick Emerton.

"I said what have we got to do? He said we have an unfinished house and he explained the situation and I said well mate, I promise you one thing. I know a lot of good people." Said Mick

Mick spread the word of Brody's pledge and Angela's plight.

"There's just been so many sad things going on, like the floods, the stories of younger brothers and mothers getting swept away to save lives. Had a funeral on a Thursday, had a funeral on a Friday there's just been too much sadness around. We needed something. Needed some good. This is bullsh*t." says Hugh

"It's just all gone downhill basically, just, surely there has to be some good luck coming?" says Logan

But what happens next has little to do with luck.

While the kids are in Sydney visiting Mum, Mick and his mates, all 200 hundred of them ... and then some ... found their way into the family home.

"It started with just a few mates, and we planned to chip in a few bucks ourselves and it just snowballed. It would be more than 95% of the people who are here and who come yesterday they don't even know the family. They don't even know the mother. They just know they have to look after their community and everybody can do this." Says Mick

"Somebody give me a brush, we've got a hand free here." Mick says to one of the helpers

Mick provides much of Newcastle with its poultry. To the locals he's known as Chicken Mick and today, he's ruling the roost.

"Can you do that bit of down pipe it's annoying the crap out of me!" Orders Mick

Their mission is to renovate and refurbish the entire house inside and out. But there's a catch. One weekend is all they have. Mick determined to complete it just 48 hours before the kids come home.

"We've all got kids and you'd hate to think of yourself in that same spot, you know, you'd like to think other people would help you out as well. It's just giving back I guess." Says one helper

"The heart got involved and took over." Says Mick "It's just engulfed everybody." He continues

"Good to see everyone." Says the painter inside the house

"I've got a broken wrist and trying to help out today!" says one man

"There's managers, accountants, lawyers, dentists, everyone contributing." Says another

"I'm actually an ICU nurse and David, my husband is a solicitor so we don't usually paint an do practical things!"

"We're a bit worried, pushed for time, we want to get this house finished." Says Mick

Back at St George Hospital in Sydney, Angela and her kids have no idea what's happening back at home.

"Goodbye, I love you. Logan, behave for your brother and sister." Says Angie

"Everyone needs a reward. What's your reward?" asks Tim

"The kids faces. I can't wait to see the smiles on their faces." Says Mick

It's 4.30pm, almost 48 hours since the renovations began. Brody, Jorgia and Logan are just moments away.

"Holy!! Im getting out! Oh my god! We have a driveway!" Says Jorgia

"This is exactly how mum wanted it." Says Brody

"You've done a great job Mick , looks awesome." Says Brody

Jorgia comments "It looks beautiful."

"What do you think? Bit different?" asks Mick

"I never thought it would look this good." Says Brody

Then Mick announces "And Brody, there's your present mate, another car."

Jorgia "Mums dream has become a reality."

Over 100 local businesses pitched in, none of them after publicity.

"Just so you don't feel bad that he's got a car, I've got you a new lawn mower and you a whipper snipper because youse have got to look after this lawn!" says Mick

"This is mad!" Says Logan

"I'm too happy to cry, it's too, like, overwhelming." Says Jorgia

"This is awesome." Says Logan

"I looked at this bed with Mum!" says Jorgia

Outside, the biggest surprise of all, everyone knows each other. Everyone loves each other. You're all family. I love you all! This renovation was never about the home, it was always about the heart.

"We can't thank youse all enough - it's just amazing what you've all done - it's just put the word community back together. We have to say thankyou to everyone this is so amazing, like, this is even better then the real one on TV! This is the real one! This is the real deal baby!" says Jorgia

Brody announces "The house is always open for anyone to come up and have a beer or a BBQ, youse are all very welcome.

"You'll be sorry you said that!" says Mick

"Everyone put your hands together for yourselves, because everybody did this as a community effort and you've done well. Good stuff!" says Hugh

"The kids are going to be right there are people behind them. The kids are going to be fine. They've got a big family now." Says Mick

But there's one dream left.

"I hope to maybe meet Angie one day and just let her know that her kids are just going to be fine." Says Mick

After the break, Mick meets Angela for the first time.

- Next, that amazing reunion and just wait till you see Angela's reaction to what Mick and his mates have done to the house.

A stranger, a gift, a mum in need.

"Angie, how are you going?" asks Mick

"Hello!' replies Angie

"How are you? Feels like I'm visiting a rock star." Says Mick

"Feel a bit like a rock star." Says Angie

"We've been pretty busy up at your place!" says Mick

"I've heard that I don't really know what's happened but i've heard you're looking after everyone up there." Says Angie

"Thought you might want to have a look." Says Mick

"What have you been doing?" asks Angie

"Oh, a bit of painting here and there, would you like to see it?" asks Mick

"I'd love to." Replies Angie

"Oh my god!" Angie exclaims

"Is that how you were picturing it?" asks Tim

"That's exactly perfect - how I wanted it." Says Mick watching Angies reaction on a laptop

"It's beautiful. How gorgeous is it!" Brody says about his new car

Angie "How did youse do that?

Mick "We had a spare weekend - myself and about 200 good friends.

"That for us?" asks Angie

"Yeah..." answers Mick

"Geez, they're good kids.' Says Mick

"They're amazing. Why me?" says Angie

"Just needed a bit of a hand. You're there now.' Says Mick

"Its beautiful Mick." Says Angie

"It is gorgeous." Mick agrees

"I just can't believe there's still people like you and I don't know who else. All these beautiful people. I don't know how to repay you. Its like a dream come true." Says Angie

Anglea met Mick just minutes ago.

"You can't imagine how much joy you've brought." Says Angie

A man who in one weekend did what no doctor could do.

"Mick my hearts just aching." She continues

He gave her hope, one more reason to live.

Angie "How do I ever thankyou?

Mick "You don't."

But there's another three reasons.

"If you could say something to Mum, what would you want to say? Asks Tim

"We're all here for you, like, stay strong, be brave, like, you're going to fight it, we know you will and we love you very, very much and miss you." Says Jorgia

Angie watches Logan's message on laptop.

"From us all here, we all love you round the world and back again and back again and back again and I'll never stop looking after Logan and Jorge no matter what happens, you can rely on that and I promise of that but we just can't wait for you to come home." Says Brody

Angie "Oh god, I love my kids."

Mick "They are special kids I tell you."

"I'm the proudest Mum in the world. Couldn't have hoped for better children, couldn't have wished for more." Says Angela

"What do you want to tell your kids if they're watching right now?" asks Tim

"They know because I tell them everyday. I love you more then anything in the world. I'm so so proud of you all." Says Angie

"There's so much to live for ... my life's not over." Says Angie

"What's the first thing you want to do if it's okay and you get to come home with your kids?" asks Tim

"I don't care what it is, I just want to come home. I am coming home." Says Angie

"What do you want people to take away from all of this?" Asks Tim

"That any community can do it, basically just needs a group of people to put their hand up and lead the charge." Says Mick

"At the end of the day, do you feel proud?" asks Tim

"No ... but it feels pretty good." Says Mick

We all love you and you're just an amazing woman and you can't leave us - I know there's some good luck on its way." Says Logan

Contributions made out in favour of "Rotary Club of Toronto" with a note attached indicating "Angela Edwards Appeal" can be sent care of Jarvis Business Advisers; P.O. Box 799 TORONTO NSW 2283 - 100% of moneys collected are guaranteed to go to the intended recipients!