A dad-of-two suffering with an incurable form of brain cancer is set to receive help from Band of Builders (BoB) – just a few years after being volunteer on another one of our projects for a15-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis
Kyle O’Connor, partner Rachel, stepson Harry (17) and daughter Lottie (10) have been living with an unfinished extension and loft conversion ever since the 41-year-old construction teacher at a local academy suffered a seizure in December 2020, leading to the diagnosis of an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer.
He has since undergone surgery, radiotherapy and is currently receiving a 12-month programme of chemotherapy, meaning the tradesman and former Royal Engineer cannot complete the work himself.
We are rallying round to undertake work to the family’s dormer bungalow in Hereford.
Kyle – who is a multi-skilled tradesperson and a qualified surveyor, plasterer, decorator and tiler, as well as a secondary school teacher – said how frustrated he is at not being able to complete work on his home himself and how grateful he and his family are that the BoB community will complete the renovations he started.
“Work on the renovation of my home was coming along nicely when, a few days after my 40th birthday, I had a grand mal seizure. Within a couple of months, I was diagnosed with a grade 3 brain tumour, which required immediate surgery,” he said.
“During surgery, I also had a stroke and then went through radiotherapy treatment, and now I’m seven months in to a year-long course of chemotherapy. And all the time I’m at home, all I can see is work that needs to be completed to give my family the home they deserve – that’s why I’m so grateful that Band of Builders is supporting my family.”
Kyle knows all too well about how we rally round to support members of the construction community after volunteering on another BoB project in 2019 to build a cabin for a 15-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis, so that Kyle Sissons could be home-schooled and spend time with friends without risking his health.
The project is has also gained a lot of support and good wishes from Kyle’s former military regiment.
Project lead Jake Anderson – a veteran of half a dozen BoB projects and also four for BBC TV’s DIY SOS – said that the aim is to complete the work as quickly as possible to aid Kyle’s rehabilitation in the final months of his chemotherapy.
“As a time-served carpenter, I know all too well that Kyle will be looking around his home and all he can see are the jobs that need doing – so our team will help put his and his family’s minds at rest, not only that we’ll complete his project but also that it will be up to his standards,” said Jake.
This will be our 24th project to date and we would like to thank our supports including DEWALT, Jewson, Tarmac, Gibbs & Dandy, V12 Footwear, Talasey, Resideo and Haemmerlin.