Cancer sufferer calls for building experts' help to surprise devoted partner
CAN you fix it?
The hunt is on for a crack team of building experts to help give something back to a woman who has devoted her life to caring for her seriously ill partner.
Tony Cassar, 49, of Grimsby's Hainton Avenue, was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma – a rare cancer of the throat, normally associated with those of Asian descent, in 2008.
He has been fighting the disease ever since, undergoing long periods of radiotherapy and other treatments, which have often left him tired and weak – leaving the care of their seven children and upkeep of their home to his partner Joanne Moore, 41.
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During his last stay in hospital, the roof of the couple's home developed a big leak, causing large amounts of damage to both the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms and the family's communal room.
However, as the leak was attributed to wear and tear on the roof, the couple's insurance payout only covered the replacement of the bathroom suite.
And, although Tony is now fit enough to return to work at DFDS in Immingham, they have been unable to carry out any of the repairs.
Today, Joanne is heading off to stay with a friend for a week and Tony is hoping to recruit a team of volunteers to help him redecorate the house while she is away as a surprise "thank you" for when she gets back.
He said: "She has been wonderful. Nothing is ever too much trouble for her.
"There were periods where I would be having radiotherapy for six days a week and staying with my dad, Carl, as I wasn't well enough to help take care of the children – but she never complained.
"My dad has also been great, I can't thank him enough, but Joanne has just gone that extra mile."
"I feel very embarrassed about all this, but I just haven't been well enough to do any of the work on my own.
"I just want to be able to do something nice for Joanne, to say thank you for everything she has done for me over the years."
The former builder has already secured the use of some scaffolding from local firm Grandstand, but is looking for volunteers to provide a skip and any handy men, plasterers, electricians and roofers who are willing to give up their time to help.
He added: "My priority is getting rid of all the things in the attic, which were ruined by the water, to get the roof fixed and the walls clean, dry and re-plastered.
"If we can redecorate too, that would be a bonus. I will do what I can to help too."
Can you help?
Joanne will be away from today until Sunday, June 24, when Tony hopes to have the work completed. If you think you can help, call our news team on 01472 372213 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org