Gar­den makeover to help coura­geous dad

Builders do­ing their bit to help bat­tling fa­ther

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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