Figtree man Fred de Boer has terminal cancer and before his time is up there is one thing he wants to do: ensure his beloved wife of 55 years, Harriet, has a comfortable home to live in.
The verandah of their longtime home is rotting and the bathroom needs work, with tiles broken and a shower recess too small to allow carers to properly help Mr de Boer.
"My doctor says I might have a year, and I don't want my wife to worry about [the house]," the 80-year-old said.
The couple have called that house, nestled in a quiet, leafy street with views of Mount Keira, their home for 54 years now.
It is their family home, the place in which they raised their two sons, Rodney and Anthony.
They bought the house after their first home, in Bulli, literally collapsed around them.
Afterwards Mr de Boer recalls telling his wife to find a home she liked and she came back telling him of the "beautiful" house she had found.
The de Boers had married a few years after meeting on a boat to Australia, having both grown up in the Netherlands. "We just danced, and I fell in love with her," Mr de Boer said.
"It was just a natural sort of thing."
Mr de Boer has had his wife beside him through years of health troubles that have included broken vertebrae, an aneurysm, lung disease, heart problems, a surgical injury to his spine, and now cancer.
She nursed him after surgery and he told the Mercury how she sat with him in his room each day, looking after him.
"I haven't got much time, so I want her to be happy and satisfied, and live a happy life after I'm gone," Mr de Boer said.
Anyone who wants to help Mr de Boer can email email@example.com.
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