TIME stood still as the words slowly fought for meaning in Denise Zingel’s mind – “you have terminal cancer”.
Eight months on and Mrs Zingel continues to bravely battle the disease, despite a cursed run of bad luck for her and husband John.
After two years of living with relatives, the couple recently saved enough money to realise the dream of owning their own home, transporting a modest house from Yenda to a small parcel of land in Barellan they had purchased.
Then came the diagnosis, forcing Mr Zingel to leave his job with GrainCorp to care for his wife.
Just when it seemed like they would finally move into their new home, the floods hit, ruining furniture and a number of photo albums stored in the property’s garage.
The Zingels were back to square one, but they didn’t account for the compassionate heart of the Barellan community.
In a moving act of support, more than 20 local residents performed a “backyard blitz” on the Zingels property during the long weekend, building a garden, moving in furniture and laying carpet.
“I mentioned it to a few friends and suddenly we had a couple of dozen people,” backyard blitz organiser and Mr Zingel’s sister in law, Norma Zingel said.
“This is the sort of community Barellan is, if anyone’s in trouble we will always help out.”
An emotional Mr Zingel said the working bee had re-affirmed his faith in humanity.
“You just don’t realise what people will do for you until you need them,” he said.
“The house has been sitting there for two years because we couldn’t afford to make it liveable and now we can move in.”
Norma Zingel thanked volunteers for their help, also acknowledging the donations of Choices Griffith, Yenda Pioneer Butchery and the Golden Grain Cafe in Barellan.
The couple still requires a lounge suite after their previous one was destroyed by floods.
If you can help, contact Norma on 0447 736 856.