Wife’s memory lives on
AN inspired Port Douglas man hopes the memory of his beloved late wife can be used to benefit the wider shire community.
Retired businessman Roger Gibbons will never forget the day he met Marie LeCroy, an American real estate agent with a “sunny personality”.
“I was staying in Dallas on August 15, 2012, and we both went out for dinner with mutual friends,” he said.
“She was an incredibly open person with a terrific laugh and a soft Texan accent. I knew this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”
But soon after returning to Australia Mr Gibbons received unexpected and saddening news – Marie, then in her early 50s, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Despite the setback the pair’s romance continued to flourish, and in late 2012 Marie made her first trip to Port Douglas.
“She fitted in here very well, there wouldn’t have been a single friend of mine who didn’t warm to Marie,” Mr Gibbons said.
They married in Dallas on February 21 last year, but Marie’s condition began to deteriorate. On her final trip to Port Douglas, in August 2015, she became “extremely ill” and was taken to Mossman Hospital. Marie was flown to Brisbane for further treatment, but on September 14 she died at The Wesley Hospital aged just 55.
Now, less than six months later, Mr Gibbons plans on honouring his late wife by raising money for important new technology at Mossman Hospital. Through the Marie LeCroy Mossman Hospital OPG Project, he hopes to raise at least $50,000 for an orthopantomogram machine – advanced X-Ray equipment used by dental practitioners.
While admitting a breast cancer related project was not possible at a small hospital like Mossman, Mr Gibbons said a new OPG machine would provide a valuable service to patients and another income stream for the hospital.
“I know Marie would be pleased for something positive to come out of her death,” he said. “Not a day goes by when I don’t reflect on the three amazing years we spent together.” Peter Le Griffon, director of nursing at Mossman Hospital, said there was a strong demand for an OPG machine in Douglas Shire.
“A lot of people have to go to Cairns for a fairly simple procedure, but this would save a huge amount of travel time,” he said.
Marie LeCroy spending some quality time in the Far North.