Garden makeover to help courageous dad
Builders doing their bit to help battling father
AN UXBRIDGE dad who is battling leukaemia is receiving a ‘Ground Force’-style garden makeover.
Richard Robbins, 33, was diagnosed with the blood cancer in April, after his wife was concerned about unexplained bruising.
Workers at LifeBuild Solutions, who heard about his plight, are building him an “exciting garden” which he can enjoy with his twin sons and which will include a climbing frame, astro turf – free from Wembley Stadium – and a new patio and path.
Lindsey Robbins, Richard’s wife of four years, told the Gazette about the family’s ordeal.
She said: “The positive is, when I woke up the morning after the diagnosis I thought, ‘I can either fall to pieces and not deal with it or I can look at what is going on’.
“The thing that sticks in my head is that he’s still alive. He’s still here and we should make the most of it rather than spend the time feeling upset and angry. It’s better to just be nice to each other and enjoy the time we have.
“I’m glad I had that moment really early on because it’s really helped me. I wouldn’t swap anything, he’s my husband and I love him to bits.”
Richard and Lindsey, who both work for Hillingdon London Borough Council, married in 2011 and had twins Oliver and Thomas, in 2013.
When a colleague at the council, Carla Batten – whose daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2011 – heard about Richard, she offered support and said her husband’s company wanted to help someone with a building project.
A team of 20 from LifeBuild Solutions descended upon the couple’s house, in Hows Road, to begin work, with the project expected to be completed in three weeks.
Ken Adams, director of LifeBuild said: “It feels brilliant to help directly, as opposed to just donating and it felt rewarding to see staff and everyone trying to do something. It was nice to give something back.
“We’re doing the easy bit, Richard has to struggle through, which we of course have fingers crossed for. We’ve been invited to go back for a glass of champagne after we’ve completed it and before Richard goes off for his transplant. Theoretically, everything should be finished by the end of the month.”
Lindsey said the family will be delighted to be able to spend quality time together in the garden.
Lindsey added: “It’s the boys that I feel for because we’re in hospital all the time and Richard can’t do anything really.
“We’ve had to cancel two holidays this year and the children are at that age where they’re growing and learning so fast and now suddenly we can’t do any of these things.
“I think being with the children and knowing they may grow up without their dad is just awful.
“But if someone told me that this was going to happen, I still would have married him, still would have had our children, we would have done all the things that we’ve done and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.”
Mr Adams, alongside project manager Lee
Grant Humphreys n ON THE JOB: Simon Moy-Thomas, Lee Batten and Ken Adams, from LifeBuild Solutions, give leukaemia sufferer Richard Robbins’s garden a makeover
n HELPING OUT: Lee Batten and Ken Adams, from LifeBuild Solutions, are working on the garden project