Darren’s coming home

Published 7:00am 22 December 2020

Darren’s coming home
Words by Nick Crockford

The long wait will soon be over for Darren Mason who is already packing for his move to the new MS Queensland specialist disability accommodation at Orion on Rowe in Caboolture.

Darren was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in his early forties and a lack of the supported living for his physical needs forced him to move away from Morayfield.

Unfortunately, the 54-year-old was like 146 others in the Moreton Bay region unable to find close specialist disability accommodation.

Getting excited

But three years after moving into MS Queensland’s Springfield Apartments in Ipswich, Darren will head home in June when 12 accessible apartments at Orion on Rowe in Caboolture are finished.

“My niece and mum are happy that I’m gonna be closer,” says Darren. “They’ve been going up checking out where the building is going to be. They’re getting excited.

“My niece’s kids are getting older, I haven’t seen them in that long, but they still get excited to see me. I want to be there to watch them grow up.”

Darren’s coming home

Four-hour trip

The COVID-19 pandemic has made is difficult for Darren’s family to visit him in Ipswich and he’s only seen them a handful of times in 2020.

It takes Darren’s elderly mother several days to recover from the four-hour round trip.

Before MS, Darren’s life was very different. He was infantry in the army for nine years and a fire rescue marshall for Lakeside (Kurwongbah) and Bathurst raceways.

MS Queensland is asking those like Darren, who need specialist accommodation and onsite support services, to express their interest to live at Orion on Rowe in Caboolture.

Darren’s coming home
An artist's impression of a finished building

First of a kind

The development, by the KTQ Group, also includes an office building, cafe and food outlet, 23 three-storey townhouses, a 100-bed residential aged care facility and a retirement facility with 93 apartments. It has been described as a first of its kind in Australia.

MS Queensland has provided care and support to Queenslanders living with MS, other neurological conditions and high support needs for more than 60 years.

To submit an expression of interest or form more information, phone MS Queensland on 1800 413 717 or visit www.msqld.org.au.

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