Neighbourhood Heroes pitch in for Lively family

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Aug 01, 2014 - 5:04 PM |
 Three-year-old Abel Nyabeze was recently diagnosed with leukemia at the same time as his family's home was undergoing renovations. The community has pitched in to finish the project. Supplied photo.

Three-year-old Abel Nyabeze was recently diagnosed with leukemia at the same time as his family's home was undergoing renovations. The community has pitched in to finish the project. Supplied photo.

Residents help renovate sick child's home

Last week, Kyle Holford was chatting with neighbour Charles Nyabeze, and the man started crying.

He learned Nyabeze's three-year-old son, Abel, had recently been diagnosed with leukemia, and was at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Kids.

The little boy is receiving chemotherapy there, and is expected to return home to Sudbury Aug. 21 at the earliest. Holford said Abel is doing well, although the chemotherapy wears him out.

Nyabeze wasn't in Toronto with Abel and wife Carmen because he had to do some work on his Lively home.

The foundation had just been repaired after a leak this past spring, and he and his brother were backfilling around the foundation.

The couple's six other kids were staying with family in Lively.

Holford told him not to worry about levelling and landscaping the yard, as it could be done later, and he'd help. “I told him his focus should be on his family,” he said.

Deciding to go one step further and fix up the yard before the family's return, Holford phoned Turf Scapes Landscaping, and asked if he could hire some of the company's workers to help him on their day off.

When owner Mary Lou Hargan heard what he was trying to do, she offered to do the job for free. Holford said he's also received donations from a number of other businesses, including Valley Nursery Sod, Ethier Sand and Gravel and Equipment North, which has allowed him to level and lay sod in the home's yard.

Local construction contractors have donated labour to help with building a front stoop and stairs for the home.

“With seven kids, you've kind of got to kick them outside to play, and they can't play in a mud hole,” he said. “This way, they have oodles of grass to play in.”

Holford is also working his way through a list of other items on Nyabeze's to-do list, including fixing and closing in the home's covered porch so the large family has more room — something they sorely need.

“They're like cordwood in there,” he said. “They're one on top of each other.”

The house may even receive new windows thanks to a donation offer from Champagne Windows and Doors.

Nyabeze is “more than thankful” for the community's efforts to help his family, Holford said. “He just doesn't know what to say,” he said.

Those interested in donating money for the construction project are asked to do so at an account set up in the family's name at the Sudbury Credit Union.

People who want to donate materials are asked to phone Holford at 705-626-5194.

Neighbourhood Heroes is an ongoing series at NorthernLife.ca aimed to highlight community members who truly go above and beyond. Do you know a Neighbourhood Hero? Tell Heidi Ulrichsen about it. You can reach her by phone at 705-6573-5667 ext 338, by email at heidi@northernlife.ca or on Twitter @heidi_ulrichsen.

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Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer


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