On Thursday 11 August, Master Builders SA was privileged to attend the soil turning launch of the latest Habitat for Humanity house at Two Wells. Habitat for Humanity, along with the generosity of Master Builder SA’s council member Val Fuda’s Hot Property Group, are building a house for the Lovett Family. The Lovetts have relocated from Pt Lincoln to Adelaide to be closer to the urgent medical treatment needed for their son Declan.

 As a toddler, Declan was late in sitting, crawling, walking and talking. After consulting several medical specialists and undergoing tests, he was receiving therapy which was hoped would improve his condition. However, his health was rapidly declining and further doctor’s appointments and tests revealed the tragic diagnosis of leukodystrophy – a rare condition that has no cure.

Genetic testing revealed that both Robert and Kiera are ‘carriers’ of the gene that can cause leukodystrophy. They immediately had their other two children tested. The Lovett’s hearts broke again when their oldest son, Connor, was also diagnosed with leukodystrophy in 2019. They will lose the brothers to this incurable condition.

The boy’s health has declined to a point where Declan is confined to a wheelchair and has a communication device, weekly therapy and requires 24/7 support. Connor’s condition is also declining and he now needs assistance with everyday tasks.

The boys attend Two Wells Primary School, where they receive great support, and are making friends and memories. The Lovett’s were desperate to live in Two Wells, a community that has made them feel welcome.

Adding to the family’s challenges, Robert was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 2019. Robert noticed a mark on his index finger, but like many men, thought nothing of it and didn’t go to the doctor. At Kiera’s insistence, Robert had the spot under his fingernail tested, which revealed it was a melanoma and required a partial amputation of the finger, as well as removal of nodes in his elbow and upper arm. The cancer had spread to other parts of the body, which has required treatment. Robert resigned from work in April 2021 to help care for Connor and Declan.

This project will provide a home for the Lovetts which have special requirements to cater for the boys’ needs, including wider halls and door frames, a larger wet area and spacious living room, to allow for wheelchairs and walking frames. This project has been made possible through the hard work of Louise Hay, Habitat for Humanity and the generosity of Val Fuda, Hot Property Group and other South Australian sub-contractors who have donated their time, equipment and materials.

While the build is underway, there is still a lot of work and materials needed to complete the project. If your organisation is interested in assisting please contact Louise Hay at Habitat for Humanity at Lhay@habitat.org.au