Town’s Tough Love boost

THE Rosedale community, which has been rallying to raise money to help a local family battling cancer, received a boost this week from the AFL Footy Show.

The Tilley family was selected by The Footy Show for the third instalment of the Tough Love segment, with dedicated tradies lending a helping hand in a renovation up to the value of $10,000.

The Footy Show put the call out on-air for people to nominate clubs or families who needed a helping hand, with the Tilley family nominated by family member Leonie Riddle.

In January, seven-year-old Xavier Tilley was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour and Cerebellar Mutism (being unable to speak, swallow or move freely).

Xavier has undergone three brain operations and radiotherapy, and is currently undergoing intensive chemotherapy at Monash Clayton.

Since Xavier was diagnosed, the Tilley family has not left Monash, causing financial hardship.

With renovations already underway inside the house, the Tough Love team completed improvements to the backyard.

Led by site foreman Ian Halloran, the Tough Love team completed new fencing around the backyard, relaid brickwork paving, installed a ramp to improve access for Xavier and planted a garden bed.

The family was also given an outdoor setting and new barbecue, with an area off the carport created for Xavier’s father Michael to park his trailer.

Ms Riddle said the whole community had rallied around the family, raising money to make the necessary modifications to the family home.

“They have renovated the living room to enable wheelchair access; they knocked out an entry way to do that,” she said.

“They have put in new flooring and are remodelling the bathroom to make it wheelchair accessible, as well as Xavier’s bedroom.”

Ms Riddle said while Xavier was making good progress, there was still a long way to go.

“They say it will be five years before he can be deemed clear, and he will have to have regular check-ups,” she said.

“He has just completed his third round of chemo(therapy) and has got the fourth round to go.

“He gets a couple of breaks in between, but it is really knocking him about, so he is unable to be here today.

“Mid-point scans indicate no more growth. “With the cerebellar he lost the ability to walk and talk, so he has been undergoing radiotherapy, speech therapy and physio.

“He’s just started to string sentences together, so he is progressing quite well.”

Several members of the Rosedale community, including Rosedale Football Netball Club members, were on hand for the reveal with Michael and Xavier’s sister Jada on Wednesday morning.

AFL Footy Show star Shane Crawford was a big hit with the crowd, especially the many children in attendance.

The segment went to air on Wednesday night. A mad Essendon fan, Xavier’s story has touched Bombers captain Jobe Watson, who has visited Xavier in hospital.

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke and cricket legend Shane Warne have also visited Xavier at Monash.