Tradie mates build a house to cover Wagga dad's medical costs

Andrew White with Geoff and Cathy Reid in front of the house that is starting to take shape in Boorooma. Photo: Les Smith
Andrew White with Geoff and Cathy Reid in front of the house that is starting to take shape in Boorooma. Photo: Les Smith

There are no words to describe how one Wagga man feels as he watches his mates, and fellow industry workers band together to build a house that will help cover cancer treatment costs.

About three years ago, Geoff Reid was diagnosed with grade-four glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour.

Then last year, his friend and building industry colleague Andrew White decided to kickstart a life-changing project to help his mate out.

Rallying suppliers and tradies throughout the city, they have started to build a house that once completed, will be auctioned off with the funds donated to Mr Reid's medical costs.

"It is very overwhelming to see it all come together," Mr Reid said. "It is still hard to believe that the building community would want to do this for me.

"It is humbling that all these guys would put up their hand to help out."

It's been a tough 2020 for Mr Reid and his family as he pressed paused on the chemotherapy.

"When I was first diagnosed they said 'this is a terminal disease, we can treat you, but we can't cure this'," he explained.

The oncologist told Mr Reid he needed a break from the chemo for eight weeks after more than two years on it with no change. Then after a scan confirmed the tumour had not changed, he had a second eight-week break.

"The anxiety levels for me was hard," he said. "From day one, they said this disease was going to be the end of me, and while I am not having treatment, that was stressful."

Treatment for the diseases does not come cheap, with just one scan costs $800. Mr Reid has needed 20 in the past two years. And, for every scan, Mr Reid and his wife fly to Sydney at the recommendation of the doctors. The family have sold off assets to help cover costs.

"You would not wish this on your worst enemy," Mr Reid said. "I am just so thankful to the blokes like Andrew White and all the local builders."

Mr White said he could not put into words just how impressed he is with the Wagga community who - despite bushfires, drought and a health pandemic - have donated time, money and resources to get the job done.

"People just come up to me and say he's [Mr Reid] a good bloke, of course, I am going to help him out," he said. "It's been an easy job to get the labour. People are just coming in their spare time to get it done."

Mr White said they are always looking for more helping hands and are on the hunt for paint, tiles and painters. Anyone interested in supporting this initiative can contact Andrew White at Riverina Plaster Works at andrew@riverinaplasterworks.com.au.

This story The life-changing project all in aid of a mate first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.