Rallying call to help Monique and Nicole Forrest
LAST UPDATED // Thursday, 06 March 2014 16:44 Written by // Andrew Shaw
It’s rarely that we have the chance to give back to those who have contributed time and effort to make Brisbane a better, more inclusive place to be.
But just such an opportunity for the Brisbane LGBTI community to show that it cares for its members is now at hand.
Nicole and Monique Forrest are well-known for running lesbian night Scarlet for six-and-a-half years, as well as hosting lesbian community events including supporting the Lesbian Health Action Group and kick-starting International Lesbian Day here in Brisbane. Last year, Monique won the lifetime achievement award at the Queen’s Birthday Ball Awards.
Then last June, while holidaying in Thailand, Monique caught dengue fever, a viral disease spread by mosquitoes. This debilitating disease developed into post-viral fatigue syndrome – commonly referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Monique became bed-ridden. “That was a stress on our family,” she says, “because I wasn’t working and it caused financial hardship.”
Monique’s wife, Nicole, stepped up to the plate to manage the three kids, do the household chores and take up the slack.
But recently Nicole had a rare allergic reaction to prescription medicine, had a seizure and fell unconscious. She was put into an induced coma and although conscious, is now fighting her way towards a full recovery from her ordeal.
Needless to say, the pressure on the couple is tremendous. “We both have no income, and hopefully it's short-term,” Monique says. “But it’s been overwhelming, the number of people in the community asking, ‘How can we help?’”
One of those people, Ruth Gardner, has organised a campaign site to raise money for the immediate needs of the family.
The indiegogo site states: “We are asking respectfully for members of the community where they are able, to donate to assist in relieving their hardship. They are in need of immediate financial assistance so we are making this a two week campaign only so that relief is on the horizon for them.”
The campaign site allows direct donations to be made, and includes a link to a Facebook site dedicated to a garage sale.
Special perks are available to those who donate, including co-hosting 4ZZZ radio show Dykes on Mykes for $100, and, for $500, getting your own Kristy Apps solo house concert.
Check out the ‘Help Monique and Nicole Forrest site’ here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-monique-and-nicole-forrest#description
IMAGE: Monique kisses Nicole during a hospital visit.