By Olivia Matis
Meaghan Lucas has been with Dreams2Live4 from the very beginning and has seen it through to where it is now. From a small program at The Prince of Wales Hospital to an independent, nationally registered charity in its own right: Dreams2Live4 has grown in leaps and bounds. I sat down with Meaghan, our Director of Marketing and Communications in an attempt to discover the emotional drive behind her work at Dreams2Live4.
O: Take us back to the beginning: where did it all start?
M: It all started with Annie Robinson (the founder of Dreams2Live4). She and I were friends at college. We both went to Charles Sturt University (previously Mitchell College) in Bathurst. We had been through everything together – all night exam crams, boyfriends and break ups – the ups and downs. I knew we would be friends for life. When I got the phone call that Annie had breast cancer I was devastated to say the least. I felt so helpless…The best days were when Annie spoke about her next goal or dream. Like singing with Human Nature.
O: Did you get to be involved in Annie’s Dream? From what I’ve heard, it sounded incredible…
Yes, of course! I was there and when she came on stage and sang with such joy …I wept and blubbered with happiness. I could see so clearly the power it gave her to fulfill her dreams. When Annie was bed-ridden her beautiful sister Louise took Annie and her young family into her home and nursed her. I was privileged to help Louise one day a week so I got to spend very precious time with Annie.
O: And so how did you end up becoming involved with Dreams2Live4 yourself?
In her last weeks, Annie asked me to go on the executive committee for Dreams2Live4. She did not want this dream to die with her. I was never one for committees but it was a request I could not refuse. Since then I have thanked Annie every day. Working with Dreams2Live4 has brought so much happiness and purpose into my life. It is the most precious gift Annie gave me. I miss her everyday but know that she would be so proud of the good that she has made happen.
O: What has been the most enjoyable part of your work with D2L4
M: Watching dreams come true is of course the best part of the job. But for me, I particularly love seeing the community of Dream supporters work together to bring these precious wishes into reality. It’s a sort of magic. Someone will share a Facebook post to a friend… that friend may have contact who can then put us in touch with the very person who can help us make a patient’s dream come true. It is like a village where random acts of kindness result in these incredible stories of uplifting joy. And so the magic of the dream ripples out from one person to everyone who is touched by this simple idea that Annie started….Dreams2Live4.
O: What is your favourite Dreamers story?
M: The Dreams and dreamers we work with are so varied. Of course I love the weddings and the family reunions but there is one dream which has touched me deeply. A woman about my age wrote to us saying “I don’t want to die with my song in my heart”. Her dream was to discover what gifts she has and how, despite her cancer, she can find a way to develop and share her gifts. This dream resonates with everything Annie described about a dream and the power of purpose and passion. This dream is being organized as we speak and our dreamer will spend time with a life coach to discover and explore her own unique gifts.
O: And what has been the most emotional/difficult part of the process?
M: The hardest part is losing so many people that you come to admire. The injustice of why so many good and beautiful people have to go through so much pain and loss breaks my heart.
O: Would you recommend it to others, becoming involved with Dreams2Live4?
M: I have found that most people who get involved with dreams – sharing contacts, time or money – get far more out of it then they give. I think it was Winston Churchill who said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
O: And how has it changed your life?
M: It has had a huge impact on my life. Our Dreamer’s stories remind me every day to be grateful for what I have in life. To end each good bye with ‘I love you’… It has given me great confidence in the good in our community. I am bowled over every day by the random acts of kindness we witness and the magic each dream brings.
Read Annie’s story here: