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Guitarist’s family organises ‘note’-worthy gift to MS Plus in wife’s memory

In 1986, Vic Bilbrough met Kathy Adamson at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Melbourne. The gregarious supervisor was smitten with the quietly spoken research officer, and the feeling was mutual.

It was a love that endured beyond 1998—the year that Kathy, only 41, died from complications arising from multiple sclerosis (MS). Vic passed away 22 years later, still mourning his wife.

kathy bilbrough

Kathy Bilbrough

At Vic’s memorial service, people remembered Vic and Kathy for their many accomplishments.

“Kathy was an all-rounder, excelling at violin, piano and singing, softball and netball. She won many awards at Glen Waverley Secondary College,” recalled sister Lynne Adamson.

Brother David remembers Vic as sporty and musical. “He could sing and play guitar. At 12, he won a local talent competition. He also formed a band with his best friend Steve and brother Stan,” he said.

Kathy and Vic married in 1991, bought a house in Forest Hill, planted a large garden and enjoyed going to concerts. But trouble was brewing. While working in Germany and later in Melbourne, Kathy experienced vision problems and became unsteady on her feet. Two years into the marriage, her health declined.

Kathy learned she had an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis.

Uncertain how much time they’d have together, Kathy and Vic spent several months travelling around Europe and the UK. They visited Germany, where Kathy had many friends.

kathy and vic bilbrough wedding

Kathy and Vic Bilbrough on their wedding day

Kathy worked until she couldn’t. Later, she and Vic turned to MS Limited (now MS Plus) for support. As her condition worsened, Kathy’s parents assisted with her care, and Vic quit his job to become a full-time carer.

Vic’s family believe he never stopped grieving for Kathy. He endeavoured to find a more positive life path but was hospitalised several times and died in 2020.

Unfortunately, Vic didn’t leave a will, but David, his executor, had an inkling of his last wishes.

“Vic mentioned a few times he and Kathy wanted to leave a generous gift to MS Plus as a thank you for the support staff had given them. He also wanted to help another charity and his siblings. The family liked the idea of supporting the MS cause,” said David.

“By leaving this gift in their names, we hope others will be supported with their MS challenges when they need help,” added David.

Even 1% or 2% of what is left after gifts to family and friends can make a huge difference. It costs nothing now, but changes so many lives into the future.

Today, the families remember Kathy as a bright star in the family firmament and Vic as a man of great wit and generosity. Perhaps elder brother Stan summed up his sibling the best: “A great bloke who gave it all a fair crack.”

Could you be like Vic and Kathy and their families and help those with MS?

If you want to know more about leaving a gift in your Will ring Laura or Rebecca on 1800 443 867, email futureplanning@ms.org.au, or visit My MS Legacy.

Fast-track a cure for MS. Leave a small gift in your Will.

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Guitarist’s family organises ‘note’-worthy gift to MS Plus in wife’s memory