The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on so many people. Let me share the story of Laval resident Natalie Papageorgiou, a 52 year old widow with two boys aged 16 and 17. She is fighting cancer and was forced to start a GoFund Me campaign to save her home.
Natalie lost her husband seven months ago. At the time she had two mortgages on their home; the second with a private mortgage lender. She was paying interest only, but with her partner’s passing she couldn’t afford to cover both of them and went to apply for a new mortgage to consolidate the two. It was approved, but while preparing to go sign she was told it couldn’t be done because her common law had died without a will and the two children were under 18.
“When in Quebec a situation like ours has to go through a process called family counselling, something consisting of a court hearing and appointing a tutor for the 50 percent of the estate that belongs to the children,” Natalie explained. “This couldn’t be done due to COVID-19 and despite of all efforts to contact someone to start this process, nobody was returning my calls or emails. I contacted several government departments hoping to get some direction with no luck. All my efforts had zero success due to the pandemic.”
Natalie was faced with the necessity to get the funds to pay her second mortgage, which is due at the end of June. Two of her friends decided to set up the GoFund Me campaign. “I made a video about my life and the community has supported me,” she explained. “People have been donating. But my house will be taken because I don’t have access to my mortgage due to the pandemic and I don’t have any other solution except pay him full. Without access to my new mortgage, I can’t pay him. The law did not protect me and my boys. I couldn’t protect my children without humiliating myself.”
In order not to lose her home Natalie says she crushed her pride and accepted to start the fund. “I exposed my grief and troubles to a lot of people all over the place ,” she says. “It reached Australia and Greece and is on peoples cellphones as a conversation piece during quarantine. Under other circumstances it would be impressive, but I feel degraded that I had to make a video to explain my situation and expose my financial hardships and my private life made public and my children exposed. There is a lot of wrong with all this.
Natalie hopes her story can also help others. Just log on to www.gofundme.com and in the search box type in “Save a mother and children from being homeless.”
You can see her video on Facebook. It is heartbreaking! Nobody should experience such hardships!