A team of builders answered a DIY SOS-style call for help to get a Heysham teenager back home as he fights leukaemia.
Joe Shaw was diagnosed with leukaemia in November, and has been in Manchester Children’s Hospital ever since as he undergoes chemotherapy and awaits a bone marrow transplant.
Joe, who is 14, fell ill in November. His parents Dave and Lyndsey were told the devastating news after a series of tests at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Fortunately, Joe, who attended Trumacar Primary School and is now at Morecambe High, is now in remission, having being told his latest test results show no sign of any leukaemia cells.
But the family, who live in McDonald Road in Heysham, still desperately needed to raise money to pay for a leak in their roof to be fixed.
The leak was causing direct problems in Joe’s bedroom, and as a result doctors would not allow him home from hospital due to his weak condition.
Wayne Jobey, who runs a building and roofing supplies firm, along with three of his colleagues, spent two days working on the roof.
North West Roofing Supplies from White Lund supplied all the materials free of charge, while A1 Skips loaned a skip for free to collect all the waste material.
Wayne and his team removed the old polycarbonate roof from the conservatory and installed a new timber frame and fibreglass roof.
Wayne was asked to help out by Shaun Gash, who is due to undertake a 20-day charity challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats in August.
Wayne said: “We are local so we were happy to help. Anything we can do to bring Joe home is nothing to us, it’s just a day of our time.
“We send our best wishes to Joe and his family.”
Joe’s sister Amy said: “We are all really grateful for what’s been done. This is the kind of community spirit that you don’t always hear of nowadays. It clearly hasn’t all gone.”
Joe is due to undergo more chemotherapy before having a break, when it is hoped he will be able to return home.
“The leak in his bedroom meant he couldn’t risk picking up anything else,” Amy said.
£1,100 which was raised through crowdfunding before Wayne offered his services will now be put towards alterations in the family home to help Joe on his return.
Shaun said: “This is what it’s about – changing Joe and his family’s lives and getting him back home.
“After seeing Joe’s dad’s message on facebook, I managed to speak to Wayne within the space of a day, and there was no hesitation from him.
“We are now looking for a sink and toilet for the downstairs bathroom to help Joe even more; we have already had a walk-in shower donated.
“This will make a big difference to Joe. It’s nice to find genuine people who want to help. They are giving up their time and that’s heartwarming to see.”
You can keep up to date with Joe’s progress on Facebook at @joesjournal. For more information about Shaun’s charity challenge, go to www.20twentychallenge.org.uk.