Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH -

Jim and Jenny Carter have done it tough. The cou­ple (above) lost their his­toric homestead in the 2014 Grampians bush­fires.

Two years later they’re still re­build­ing their lives. They are $180,000 in debt and barely mak­ing a liv­ing.

That makes the Carters per­fect can­di­dates for The Briefcase. Each episode gives two wor­thy fam­i­lies a briefcase filled with $100,000 and it is up to them to keep it or share it.

“It was quite staggering to be given $100,000 and then get fol­low-up to say, ‘You can keep it or have the chance of shar­ing it with some­body else who has also been through a fairly hor­rific ex­pe­ri­ence,’ ” Jim says.

That fam­ily was Rod and Mandy McCracken. In 2014, Mandy, a mother of three young girls, suf­fered a life-threat­en­ing at­tack of strep­to­coc­cal A bac­te­ria. Doc­tors had to am­pu­tate her arms and legs to save her life.

Mandy’s plight helped Jim put his own hard­ships in per­spec­tive.

“We weren’t in a sit­u­a­tion where we were suf­fer­ing a dis­abil­ity that was mak­ing life dif­fi­cult to move for­ward with,” Jim says. “What we’ve been through is noth­ing com­pared to what the other fam­ily was bat­tling. The fi­nal de­ci­sion was quite easy.”


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